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Ceramic Injection Moulding (CIM) is an innovative forming technique to manufacture ceramic components with a high geometric complexity, narrow dimensional tolerances and sharp edges. In most cases, machine finishing is not necessary, even when the smoothest of surfaces are required.

In this technology, the molten feedstock is forced into a mould cavity by an injection moulding machine similar to that used in conventional plastic moulding. Because mould constructions also are often the same as those typically used in plastic injection, it is easy to design new products and applications.

An injection material is a homogeneous pelletised feedstock, containing ceramic powders compounded with thermoplastic binders. The binders in a temperature of 150 - 170° C form a liquid medium which carries the ceramic powders into the mould during the injection stage. In INCERAMICS S.A. we can use CIM with nearly all ceramic materials, typically using high alumina and structural zirconia ceramics, in addition to zirconia solid electrolytes. After forming the part, we can remove in water bath approximately 50% of the plastifier from our products. Then a component goes through two thermal processes: first is pyrolysis in 300° C to remove the rest of binder, and a second - sintering in a high temperature 1300 - 1700° C.

With good process control close tolerances can be obtained, therefore machining of the part after sintering is usually not necessary. We can keep dimensions of final products in a tolerance +- 0,03 mm and the thickness of walls in +- 0,01 mm.

Maximal width of walls in our technology is 15 mm - with no risk of deformation during sintering.

It is possible, on every stage of manufacturing, to use machining processes like turning, milling or grinding.

Ceramic materials most frequently used in INCERAMICS S.A:

1) Alumina Al2O3 - high degree of scratch and thermal resistance, as well as hardness:

Flexural strength: 300 - 380 MPa
Compressive strength: 2600 MPa
Maximal usable temperature: 1750° C

2) Yttria Partially Stabilized Zirconia ZrO2-Y2O3 - highly durable, high flexural strength, as wells as good slide characteristics:

Flexural strength: up to 1000 MPa
Compressive strength: up to 4500 Mpa
Maximal usable temperature: 1500° C

3) Yttria Fully Stabilized Zirconia ZrO2-Y2O3 - possesses selective ionic conductivity and excellent thermal resistance:

Flexural strength: 200 MPa
Compressive strength: 2000 MPa
Maximal usable temperature: 2200° C

4) Zirconia - Alumina composite possessing unique thermomechanical properties, including high thermal shock resistance, mechanical strength and hardness.

Mechanical, thermal and electrical properties
of selected ceramic materials

MechanicalUnitAl2O3 94%Al2O3 96%Al2O3 99,5%ZrO2, Y2O3
partially stabilised
Flexural Strength MPa330345379900
Elastic ModulusGPa300300375200 - 270
Shear ModulusGPa12412415285
Bulk ModulusGPa165172228-
Poisson's Ratio-0,210,210,220,23
Compressive StrengthMPa2100210026003900
Fracture Toughness MPa3,53,5413
Maximum Use Temperature°C1700170017501500
Thermal ConductivityW/m*°K1825352
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion10-6/°K8,18,28,410,3
Specific HeatJ/kg*°K880880880400
Dielectric Strengthac-kv/mm16,714,616,99
Dielectric Constant@1MHz9,19,09,829
Dissipation Factor@1kHz0,00070,00110,0002-
Volume Resistivity in 20°Cohm*cm>1014>1014>1014>1010

You can download this table in the Acrobat Reader file here.