Technical ceramics, also called high-performance ceramics, are a material that – in contrast to decorative ceramics – has been optimized for technical and industrial applications. It is characterized by specific properties, mainly with regards to heat resistance, mechanical stability and dimensional stability. Therefore, high-performance ceramics are increasingly suitable for highly stressed components in machines, plants and devices. This applies, for example, to nozzles, insulators or space instruments – to name just a few.
In contrast to metals, high-performance ceramics do not gain their special properties until the manufacturing process, so-called ‘sintering’. This is predominantly a result of the targeted manipulation of a structural part’s microstructures. This is because an end product’s properties may vary even if the base material is identical. Therefore, it is the core competence of CERHUM to manage the 3D manufacturing process involving components and parts from high-performance ceramics in all phases – from the composition of the raw mixture, through to the 3D printing process, right through to the sintering processes. In the process, we assist our customers in choosing products and materials, as well as in designing components. As a base material, we use zirconium oxide ‘(zirconia) and aluminium oxide (alumina), or alloys made of both.
The 3D-PIEZO project aims at developing a manufacturing chain for 3D printing and multilayer lamination of piezoelectric elements for ultrasonic and other applications. The project will apply lead-free (Pb-free) high performance piezoelectric ceramic materials. Cerhum is working closely with two Norwegian companies: Ceramic Powder Technology AS, a Norwegian producer of advanced ceramic oxide powders, and SINTEF, the biggest independent research organization of Scandinavia.
For more details, please consult : 3D-Piezo Project detailed overview (PDF, 752ko)