Determining the Optimal Material for Your Application
The optimal technical ceramic material for your application is determined by evaluating the specific combination of mechanical, thermal, electrical, and chemical performance requirements.
CoorsTek ceramics have large, overlapping mechanical properties between families due to the ability to control each product's properties down to its microscopic grain size.
Flexural strength is the effective strength of a material under a bending load. The test takes into account grain structure and defects in the material, and is typically performed on brittle materials. Evaluating flexural strength reveals a material's durability as it takes into account both compressive and tensile strengths.
Evaluating hardness properties depends heavily on the test method. Knoop hardness is commonly used for hard, brittle materials. It uses a diamond shaped tool to make a measurable impression on the material with a standardized load.
Thermal properties characterize how a material reacts to changes in temperature. CoorsTek ceramics can be optimized for specific thermal performance by controlling the inherent material properties and structure.
Thermal conductivity measures how well a material spreads heat within itself. Cooking pans have high thermal conductivity allowing evenly distributed heat to pass quickly into the food. On the other hand, insulative gloves are used to handle hot objects because their low thermal conductivity prevents heat from transmitting to sensitive hands.
COEFFICIENT OF THERMAL EXPANSION
Coefficient of thermal expansion defines how much a material expands based on external temperatures. Most materials swell with the application of heat because the energy causes the atoms to move more rapidly, stretching their bonds. Ceramics generally have a low coefficient due to their strong interatomic bonds.
Electrical properties are related to how easily electrical energy passes through a material. A difference of electrical potential energy, measured in volts, pushes these charges from higher to lower potential — similar to how gravity pushes water down a hill.
Dielectric strength is how much electric potential, or voltage, a material can hold back before breaking down. Eventually, the voltage becomes too much, and the material breaks down to let the energy through.
Volume resistivity measures how well a material restricts the flow of electrical energy, regardless of the application's geometry. Insulative materials have a very high resistivity, while conductive materials have a low resistivity. While most ceramic compositions are insulators, CoorsTek ceramics like ESD Safe Ceramics are intentionally engineered to let some charge through. This prevents breakdown or sudden discharge due to having too much built-up voltage.
Ceramics are chemically inert, allowing them to be used in applications that cause other materials to degrade. CoorsTek can tailor different ceramic formulations and processes to meet your specific corrosion resistance requirements.
EVOLUTION OF TECHNICAL CERAMICS
CoorsTek pioneered the use of ceramics for technical applications a century ago, taking advantage of their chemically inert properties in chemical and scientific labware. By developing a complete range of different technical ceramics, CoorsTek has helped expand the boundaries of ceramics applications.
Biocompatible ceramics are used to make cutting edge implants.
Ultra-pure ceramics are used in extremely corrosive environments, like plasma etching, that require low contamination and etch rates.
Formulations for corrosion-resistance have grain structures that are engineered to have a near perfect finish, maximizing their chemically inert properties.