Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Engineers Crack Ceramics Production Obstacle

16.03.2009
New computer-aided ‘predictive technology’ has potential to save industry time, money and reduce wastage

Engineers at the University of Leicester have invented a new technique in the manufacture of ceramics that has the potential to save the industry time and costs while reducing wastage.

The novel method takes away the traditional ‘trial and error’ approach to manufacture of ceramics and instead applied new computer modelling techniques to the manufacturing process.

Researchers at the University of Leicester, led by Professor Jingzhe Pan of the Department of Engineering, focused on a critical step in the manufacture of ceramics known as ‘sintering’.

Professor Pan explained: “Ceramics constitute vital domestic, industrial and building products, and are perhaps indispensable in our modern society. However, manufacturing advanced ceramics even in this era of ‘precision’ techniques is still very much a ‘trial and error’ process.

“Ceramics are produced from firstly compacting powders into a solid, and then firing the powder compacts in a process called ‘sintering’. During this, powders are heated to a temperature where they adhere to each other. At this stage, materials are essentially re-packed more closely, such that overall volume decreases (shrinks), whilst the density increases. Ceramics are intrinsically brittle making post-production alterations in dimensions very difficult. Failure to accurately estimate the final dimensions of ceramic parts, therefore lead to a waste of materials, time and money. “

Professor Pan’s technique helps to minimise errors during the sintering process. He said: “By predicting change in dimension during sintering is challenging, requiring extensive data on the material in question. Obtaining the required physical data has been difficult and expensive.

“Our method simply uses density measurements of different ceramics during sintering in our computer software that can predict changes in dimensions, even before production begins.

“This method does not depend on the physical properties of any one ceramic material - it simply uses densification data from a small sample of the material and extrapolates the data, such that it can be applied to larger quantities used in manufacturing. It can thus, be applied to a wide range of ceramics”.

Professor Pan, who has been investigating this process for the last 10 years, added that the ceramic industry is aware of the enormous potential of computer and mathematical modelling, and of the benefits of shifting emphasis from historical data to a more predictive approach. However, several challenges need to be overcome before this method reaches daily application in industry.

For example, the system will need to be converted into a more ‘user-friendly’ format for industrial use. Further, the technique will have to be demonstrated in a range of industrial products.

Since inventing this technique, which for the first time, shows real potential of revolutionising the ceramic industry, Professor Pan and his group have continued to explore various properties of ceramic materials. They are currently investigating properties of multi-layered ceramics (commonly used in fuel cells) and industrial (ceramic) coating.

Ather Mirza | University of Leicester
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections

21.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Smart Computers

21.08.2017 | Information Technology

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>