Chemical Properties of Technical Ceramics
Technical ceramics are inherently chemically inert, allowing them to be used in applications that cause other materials such as metals and plastics to degrade. CoorsTek can tailor ceramic formulations and processes to meet your specific corrosion resistance requirements. When compared to steel and plastic polymers, technical ceramics offer superior corrosion resistance. In addition, ceramics outperform these materials on hardness and wear resistance, making them ideal for multiple applications with highly corrosive environments.
Aluminum Oxide (Al203) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) ceramics are resistant to almost all chemicals and are used in applications that cause other materials to fail. Unlike metals, ceramics will rarely breakdown due to corrosion and they are resistant to acids and bases. However, some ceramics will perform better than others depending on specific corrosion resistance requirements. CoorsTek engineers are able to help you find the right technical ceramic material to meet your application needs.
Chemical Properties of Technical Ceramics
Measuring the purity of ceramics is critical for extremely corrosive environments, such as plasma etching for semiconductor manufacturing, as well as some medical applications. Formulations for corrosion-resistance have grain structures that are engineered to have a near perfect finish, maximizing their chemically inert properties, and can be up to four times stronger than glass. By using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), ultra-pure ceramics can be manufactured up to a purity level exceeding 99.99955%.
The bond between two different materials, where one is a metal and the other a non-metal, is known as an ionic bond. The more electrons the materials share, the stronger the material is overall. The strength of the bond depends on the size of the charge on each ion and the radius of each ion. In most technical ceramic materials (particularly oxides) ionic bonds are predominant, resulting in extremely strong chemical resistance properties.
When it comes to the corrosiveness of acids and bases, ceramics are an ideal material for long-lasting performance resulting from their ability to withstand breaking down. Corrosion resistance is measured by testing ceramics against other alternative materials, such as metals and plastics, that are chemically soluble.
Biocompatibility measures material performance in a specified application, identifying benefits or undesirable effects when combined with various biological hosts, such as body tissue or food material. Bionert ceramics can be used for orthopaedic implants and in other medical device components because they won’t produce a toxic or immunological response. Most technical ceramics are also NSF food grade compliant.
Ceramic Materials with Exceptional Chemical Resistance
Aluminas (aluminum oxide, Al2O3) are the most commonly used technical ceramics due to their generally useful properties and good price/performance ratio, and are suitable for most industry applications. Higher purity aluminas demonstrate enhanced wear and corrosion resistance.
Silicate ceramics, the oldest family of ceramics, are multi-phase materials developed from natural silicate sources and are useful for cost-effective technical applications. The company's longest running line of products, chemical and scientific labware, is manufactured from the high-purity silicate porcelain.
Silicon Carbides (SiC) exhibit characteristically high hardness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and strength — even at high temperatures.
Applications Requiring Exceptional Chemical Resistance Performance
Are you looking for a material for a highly corrosive application where metals and plastics may fail? Contact the CoorsTek team to begin discussing your application needs and requirements. Our technical ceramics expertise allows our engineers to work directly with customers on custom specifications and designs for a wide range of applications. Advanced technical ceramic materials possess excellent chemical resistance properties that are highly valuable in many of today’s industries, including automotive, chemical processing, pharmaceutical, and more.
CoorsTek ceramics are frequently used in the following industries and applications:
Oxygen and other sensor components for automotive, fuel injectors, and air conditioning systems require materials that will not corrode. Hybrid ceramics, such as DuraSense™, combine alumina and zirconia and are designed for high-performance in these applications, particularly applications that also require electrical resistivity and thermal stability.
Ensure reduced maintenance and efficient operations by using chemically resistant ceramic components for your valve systems, pipe linings, seals, bearings, and pump components.
Our industrial-grade valve and valve components, manufactured to customer specficiations, excel in the most punishing conditions. Made to outperform conventional plastics, metals, carbide-coated, and diffusion alloy materials for corrosive environments, ceramic components can also be used in high-temperature and high-pressure applications.
Hard face seal components are designed for reliability in extremely corrosive environments. We manufacture custom, heavy-duty hard face seal components for a variety of applications, including centrifugal pumps. Each seal is manufactured out of high-quality, long-lasting technical ceramic materials.
For fluid filtration applications in corrosive environments, porous ceramic membranes with ceramic hollow fiber membrane modules, offer superior performance. With an innovative design, filtered fluids discharge through porous ceramic membranes while waste materials and impurities flow through for disposal. Because ceramics are chemically inert, they are ideal for process applications where high temperature, high pressure, or extreme pH make traditional polymeric membranes are unsuitable.
science & Education
CoorsTek has been manufacturing chemical porcelain labware since the early 1900s. Our chemical and scientific labware products remain reliable and are common laboratory items today. Whether it’s mortars, pestles, boats, or crucibles, technical ceramics provide guaranteed purity for strict laboratory environments.
Ceramic tubes and rods enhance performance and product life by using the material best suited to your application.
Polycrystalline translucent tubes and rods offer sapphire-like properties at a lower cost. These tubes and rods are crafted from 99.9% alumina and are sintered at very high temperatures (~1850°C) under reducing conditions, making them a high-purity translucent alumina with similar properties as sapphire.
Medical & Pharmaceutical
Ultra-pure ceramics are ideal for medical implants and other medical applications. Our CeraPure® and CeraSurf-p® materials are anticorrosive when used in these applications. Extensive testing of these materials have been done to ensure reactions don’t occur when introduced into the body.
Pharmaceutical Grade Amino Acid Production:
Approximately 25 percent of pharmaceuticals today require highly purified antibodies, vaccines, and recombinant proteins developed by utilizing a tightly regulated amino acid fermentation process. By using cutting edge separation technology using porous ceramic membrane technology, ceramic hollow fiber membrane recirculation systems can replace high-cost, corrosive centrifugal separators and eliminate the necessity of secondary cooling processes.
Engineered, ultra-pure technical ceramics are used throughout the semiconductor industry. Because of their purity and other property strengths, ceramics are used in the whole cycle of semiconductor manufacturing, including wafer processing, and semiconductor fabrication.
Advanced, high-purity ceramic components are also built to withstand the extreme environments found in plasma etch, high voltage radio frequency, batch diffusion, and other semiconductor manufacturing processes with volatile byproducts and aggressive cleaning cycles. Ceramics can minimize contamination and unscheduled maintenance.
Looking to Explore Further?
American Ceramics Society: Structure and Properties of Ceramics