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Components for high performance

Advanced Ceramics in
Harsh Environments

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Efficient and Durable in Harsh

Tools in metalworking must meet a variety of requirements. They must be
particularly robust and wear-resistant even under the harshest conditions
in order to be used in machining processes. Advanced ceramics from
CeramTec not only meet the required standards, they are also economical
thanks to their long service life.

of engineering services to cover the entire

spectrum of machining. This portfolio en-
sures efficient machining processes with
high productivity, quality and maximum
reliability. The result is a significant reduc-
tion in machining costs per part while at the
same time ensuring that the component
meets the customers quality standards.
Cutting materials and tool systems are used
in a number of industries in different ma-
chining processes for turning, hard turning,
grooving, milling and boring components
made of cast iron, hardened steel and steel
components and materials used in aviation
engine manufacturing.
Inserts from the SiAlON cutting ceramics
family are designed specifically for high-
performance machining of cast iron ma-
terials and Ni-based alloys. These cutting
ceramics give the insert an exceptionally
Fig. 1 hard and extremely wear-resistant surface
Tool holder and cutting inserts for turning, made from different ceramic grades with a very tough core to achieve the high-
est cutting data and long tool life. Coated or
uncoated inserts made of SiAlON ceramics

T heir properties make it possible to use

advanced ceramics from CeramTec in
a wide variety of metalworking processes.
or to machine metals even under the most
extreme conditions. Even piezo-ceramic
actuators are used in metalworking.
are adapted to various cast iron materials.
Inserts made of silicon nitride ceramics
represent a performance standard for effi-
The advantages of the materials are used cient machining. Uncoated, they are ideally
for example in the forming, welding or ma- Cutting tools made of technical suited for machining of gray cast iron parts
chining of metal, in working with molten ceramics with high cutting data.
metals, in electroplating and even in the More product variants, shorter product cy- Mixed ceramics are used for fine and hard
sintering process of metal injection mold- cles and increasing productivity as well as machining. In this case, as a composite
ing components. Technical ceramics play cost pressure: The technological and eco-
an important role in each of these areas nomic demands in metal machining are
to make manufacturing processes efficient constantly growing.
In response to these requirements, CeramTec CeramTec GmbH
CeramTec-Platz 1-9
Keywords offers a variety of high-performance cut- 73207 Plochingen
cutting tools, ceramics tools for forming ting materials made from ceramic, PcBN Germany
and drawing, welding tools, piezoceramic
actuators, salt-based cores, porous gal- and cermet, matching tooling systems for
vanic diaphragm cells, setter plates machining applications and a wide range

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made of alumina (Al2O3) and titanium ma-

terials (TiCN). They have exceptional edge
stability and wear resistance. Their excel-
lent hot hardness makes them ideal for
hard precision turning of hardened steels,
hard machining of rolls and precision fin-
ishing of gray cast iron workpieces.
Oxide ceramics from CeramTec are suitable
as inserts to machine not interrupted cuts
in grooving, roughing and finishing of work-
pieces made from gray cast iron and al-
loyed cast iron. Oxide ceramics enable dry
cutting machining of cast iron materials.
Also applied are indexable inserts made of
polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PcBN),
which is said to be the second hardest ma-
terial in the world next to diamond. They are
predestined for efficient machining of cast Fig. 2 Range of cutting tools for turning and milling
iron materials and sintered metals when
turning, milling, boring and grooving. Due
to their excellent wear characteristics they superior edge stability, the highest level of
set new standards in continuous and inter- crater and flank wear resistance to ensure
mittent cutting operations. Additionally, they high process stability and to achieve excel-
offer unparalleled performance in terms of lent surface qualities and dimensional ac-
hot hardness, toughness and chemical sta- curancies of the workpiece (Fig.13).
Cermets are cutting materials made of ce- Wear-optimized solutions for forming
ramic materials in a metal matrix that are and wire drawing
characterized by their very high hardness When forming metals in either casting,
and wear resistance. They are used in all rolling, drawing, bending or widening the
kinds of applications that require finishing tools that are used are subject to extreme Fig. 3
or semi-finishing machining in continu- stress and high wear. The robust and wear- Cutting inserts made from SiAlON
ous cutting or slightly interrupted cutting. resistant ceramic tools from CeramTec de-
Grooving and turning of steel parts are ad- liver enhanced performance and increased of the tools used, e.g. forming rolls and
ditional areas of application. economy in every step of the metal forming drawing cones, must be perfectly adapted
Cutting materials, inserts and tooling sys- process. to the wires requirements in order to en-
tems for high-performance hard turning Machines and wires are subject to ex- sure that the surface of the wire does not
applications complete the portfolio. The tremely powerful forces whenever copper suffer any permanent damage. Over the
cutting materials for hard turning feature and aluminum wire is drawn. The surfaces years CeramTec has continued to develop

Fig. 4 Fig. 5
Tools for wire drawing Forming tools for bending, widening, drawing and rolling

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vent cold welds, and the hot hardness and

temperature strength reduce the likelihood
of plastic deformation. The chemical and
thermal resistance of the forming tools also
makes them suitable for use in aggressive
environments, like molten metals, acids
and Iyes. Additional fields of applications
for silicon nitride ceramics include joining
and welding of pipes and tubes (Fig. 45).

Ceramic tools for the welding process

Silicon nitride ceramics from CeramTec
create added value in welding processes:
The advanced ceramics minimize wear,
which has a positive effect on machine
running times. This increases tool life while
significantly reducing total setup times,
Fig. 6 thus making the welding process more
Components for welding process, e.g. welding pins, welding rollers and gas nozzels economical. The quality of the final product
also increases.
Compared to other ceramic materials, sili-
con nitride is clearly the better choice over-
all for the extreme demands in the welding
process. CeramTec develops silicon nitride
welding tools such as welding rollers for the
production of longitudinally welded pipes
and tubes.
Silicon nitride ceramics are also used
to make welding pins, which ensure a
perfect fit for sheet metal and nuts in
projection welding, or gas nozzles for
MIG/MAG welding. This material is char-
acterized by its extreme hardness, flex-
ural strength and wear resistance, thermal
shock resistance and chemical resistance.
The ceramic material is electrically insulat-
ing and features superior toughness and
compressive strength (Fig. 6).
Fig. 7
Piezoceramic actuators actively influence the deep-drawing process
Actuators in the forming process
Integrated process monitoring sensors and
and optimize the ceramic surfaces of the ing in maximum process reliability and in- actuators based on piezoceramic technol-
drawing tools it manufactures. This has creased product quality. ogy are used to improve component manu-
enabled CeramTec to precisely define the The thermal and mechanical forces ex- facturing in the production of car body parts.
particle size of the zirconia and alumina erted when forming, bending and widening They open up entirely new possibilities for
materials used, because this is a decisive tubes push forming tools to their perfor- quality assurance. Intelligent deep-drawing
factor in the surface quality and roughness mance limits. Tube forming tools made of tools include process monitoring sensors in
that can be achieved in the drawing tools. zirconia and silicon nitride are extremely conjunction with piezoelectric actuators to
Using ceramic tools in wire drawing notice- resistant to these mechanical and thermal control the deep-drawing process. Piezoce-
ably improves the surface of the wire, be- stresses. Their strengths lie in the uniform ramic actuators are piezoceramic compo-
cause it prevents possible corrosion dam- grain-size distribution, optimum surface nents that can generate very high forces (in
age to coated wires and ensures consistent roughness, superior fracture toughness and the kN range).
wire thickness. low tendancy to buildup welding. Their per- Movement is in the 1100m range and
This results in fewer wire breaks and as- formance and dimensional accuracy sets can be controlled with micrometer accu-
sociated maintenance costs. In turn, the standards. Service life is also vastly extend- racy. Using piezoelectric actuators makes
increased machine running times lead to ed compared to conventional tools. The low it possible to actively influence the forming
a reduction in the total setup times, result- diffusion and adhesion of the materials pre- process (Fig. 7).

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High performance for foundry and tem- Cores made of water-soluble

perature measurement technology materials
Aluminum titanate (ALUTIT) from CeramTec Manufacturers across the globe also
effortlessly masters challenging conditions use advanced materials from CeramTec
in the non-ferrous molten metals industry. for the manufacturing of media chan-
This advanced ceramic material can be nels and cavities in the casting process.
used even in aggressive melting processes, Water-soluble, salt-based cores are
at maximum temperatures of 1000C and used to produce complex casting com-
with temperature differences of several ponents in foundry technology, e.g. for
hundred degrees. piston casting. Applications range from
ALUTIT cannot be wetted by liquid alu- gravity and low-pressure die casting
minum and is especially known for its ex- to high-pressure die casting. The cores
cellent resistance to thermal shock. This are used as placeholders for the cavities
makes the material suitable for use in alu- in the casting and offer numerous ad-
minum foundries for components subject to vantages compared to conventional sand
high thermal stress levels such as risers for cores. They are very resistant and dimen-
low-pressure die casting and tubes for dos- sionally stable, create very smooth cast-
ing furnaces. Intake pipes, fill tubes, break ing surfaces and, thanks to their water
rings, nozzles, stoppers and closing plates solubility, can be completely washed out
are also made of this material and used in from the mold without leaving any resi-
industrial applications. Its low thermal con- due. This helps prevent casting failures
ductivity saves energy and its outstanding due to core gases. The core application
Fig. 8
chemical and abrasive resistance ensures properties make it possible to increase Aluminium titanate components for aluminium casting
high melt purity (Fig. 8). part quality through an optimized casting
Technical ceramics are also the first choice process. There are no harmful emissions
for devices used to measure and control during casting and core removal. In addi- Ceramic components for use in
temperatures. Protection tubes, thermo- tion to classic pressing processes to pro- galvanic applications
couple tubes designed for use with thermo- duce water-soluble, salt-based cores in the Porous advanced ceramics are also suit-
couple wires, and RTD elements (resistance shape of a ring, core shooting is applied to able for use in galvanic applications.
temperature detector) made of alumina realize complex geometries and sophisti- CeramTec offers porous galvanic dia-
can safely and stably withstand aggressive cated designs. CeramTec also offers a large phragm cells and plates for the diaphragm
atmospheres and conditions with tempera- number of different ceramic materials for process in galvanic baths in chrome plat-
tures up to 1700C. They are characterized cores used in fine casting to produce com- ing for instance. This is a process chiefly
by excellent electrical insulation and high plex components made of various metal used in electrolysis and redox reactions
mechanical strength. alloys (Fig. 9). (in galvanic elements) and is based on the

Fig. 9 Fig. 10
Cores for manufacturing complex media channels in foundry technology Porous ceramic components for galvanics

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Fig. 11 Fig. 12
Energy-efficient setter plates for MIM, CIM and LTTC production Metal matrix composites for weight reduction and material

separation of both electrodes and their ion Releasing agents or protective layers such This combination is used, for example, to
solutions by a porous wall, the diaphragm. as coatings are no longer needed since reinforce cylinder walls in different Porsche
Thanks to its excellent chemical resistance, there are no contact reactions with metals models.
the 80% alumina is able to stand up to even due to the inertness of the ceramic surfac-
aggressive chromic-sulfuric acid in chrome es. This gives the setter plates a very long About CeramTec GmbH
plating. Sulfuric acid is used in electroplat- service life without the need for recondi- CeramTec products are often unseen, but
ing, so plant operators need a resistant ce- tioning. They can be used in ceramic injec- always indispensable. The company, head-
ramic that must also be able to allow chro- tion molding (CIM), metal injection molding quartered in Plochingen, Germany, supplies
mium ions to pass. Metallic impurities can (MIM) and the production of low tempera- its customers with premium-quality ceram-
be prevented with the aid of a permeable ture co-fired ceramics (LTCCs) (Fig. 11). ic products from 19 sites across the globe.
medium such as this (Fig. 10). The products are used in many different
Weight reduction and material applications today, especially in medical
Setter plates for ceramic injection reinforcement thanks to composites engineering, automotive manufacturing,
molding (CIM), metal injection molding CeramTec delivers key benefits for light- electronics, equipment and mechanical
(MIM) and low temperature co-fired weight construction thanks to Metal Matrix engineering, defense systems, energy and
ceramics (LTCC) Composites (MMCs). Ceramic preforms are environmental technologies, and in chemi-
Alumina and aluminum nitride ceramics infiltrated with aluminum to not only re- cal industries. The companys success is
from CeramTec make it possible to create duce weight but also increase component rooted in the formula: Continued develop-
setter plates in customer-specific designs strength. ment of new, innovative materials with a
and qualities. They ensure energy-efficient This is conceivable for various compo- strong commitment to quality, a focus on
and precise process control in the sintering nents such as bearing blocks or similar customer-specific systems solutions and
process. In addition, the material properties applications. MMCs are also used locally dialog-based application consulting ser-
of the advanced ceramics guarantee shape to reinforce aluminum casting. The ceramic vices that cover the entire product life cy-
accuracy when debindering and sintering substrate consisting of hardening particles cle. CeramTec GmbH is one of the largest
the products while also ensuring energy- seamlessly combines the light weight of international manufacturers of ceramics for
efficient firing processes. the metal with the stability of ceramics. technically demanding applications.

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