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High-performance ceramics are regarded as one of the key technologies of the coming decades. Whether it’s energy, mobility or medicine, without them, quantum leaps in many of our pressing future issues would not be possible. This is why researchers, manufacturers, and users worldwide are continuing to develop intelligent materials. ceramitec in Munich will show you where international research currently stands and new fields of application for high-performance ceramic materials. Get an overview of the material of the future in the shortest possible time.

The best of everything – in the individual mixture of synthetic powders, polymers combine to form high-performance ceramic materials. The sum of their different strengths makes the new ceramic materials exceptionally resilient. Polymer ceramics belong to the non-metallic inorganic materials in technical ceramics. The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS defines them as “inorganic-organic composites consisting of ceramic fillers and a matrix of organic polymers – particularly polysiloxanes.” Wolfgang Verbeck and Gerhard Winter from Bayer AG, and Seihi Yajima from Japan’s Tohoku University in Sundai were the first to ceramicize polymers in the 1990s. A lot has happened in this field of materials science since then.

High-performance ceramics are conquering more and more systems as key components. The advanced ceramic solutions are primarily used where material is subject to high loads. At the trade fair in Munich, international manufacturers and users will discuss the still young material in application areas ranging from mechanical engineering to medical technology. The world’s leading experts from science and industry will be at the trade fair. Visitors will benefit from top material expertise in a rapidly growing market segment and gain first-hand insights into new applications and manufacturing processes.

Similar to powder metallurgy, powders are prepared, shaped, thermally treated, and then processed. In his article “Vom Polymer zur Keramik mit metallischen Eigenschaften” (From polymer to ceramic with metallic properties), published in 2022 by Springer Professional 2022, Thomas Siebel divides the manufacturing process into four steps:

  • Powder production and preparation
  • Shaping, for example, by extrusion, calendering, injection molding, or pressing, and post-processing of the green body
  • Baking out dispersants, binders and plasticizers
  • Sintering and post-processing of the white body

The big difference compared to other technical ceramics lies in the pyrolysis of the polymers. At relatively low temperatures, the low-molecular components evaporate and the polymers cross-link. As the temperature rises, the organometallic compounds decompose; above 1,000 degrees Celsius, the material becomes ceramic and more dense.

Around twenty manufacturers from Europe and across the globe will be represented at ceramitec in Munich. They include, for example: Tosoh, a Japanese multinational chemical company; Kulzer, one of the world’s leading dental companies and part of the Mitsui Chemicals Group; machine and plant manufacturers such as Schunk Ingenieurkeramik with Pulsar Photonics; Oechsler with complex technical components, assemblies, and systems that are used worldwide in numerous sectors such as medical technology or the automotive industry. On the scientific side, the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS is actively involved in the supporting program.

Virtually indestructible thermally, extremely resilient mechanically, and almost indecomposable chemically, polymer ceramics are used wherever top performance is required. They retain their shape and size at any temperature, conduct electricity and heat, and have dielectric properties. With functional fillers and binder systems, they can be adapted to a host of applications.

In practice, their properties and functions as components in the energy, automotive, or aerospace industry enable them to withstand extreme heat. Process engineering in the chemical, food, or biotechnology industry benefits from their exceptional hardness. Their mechanical resilience is particularly useful in medical technology. As functional materials, they achieve great things in electrical engineering, microelectronics, and nanoelectronics.

Ceramic polymers can be found as high-performance ceramics in many optical, electromagnetic, nuclear, chemical, mechanical, and thermal fields of application.

  • Power generation and storage: heat exchangers, furnaces, insulators
  • Mechanical and plant engineering: drawing, casting or cutting tools
  • Mobility: engine parts, catalytic converters
  • Optics: lamps, radomes, infrared optics
  • Electrical engineering: sensors, magnets, piezo elements
  • Medical technology: abrasion-resistant parts, e.g. for implants
  • Cross-sectional technologies such as pumps, bearings, or seals

The development of high-performance ceramic materials is still in its infancy. At ceramitec, you will get an overview of the rapid development, the current status of application-oriented research, and application areas of the future. Find out about the latest trends and topics in this growth market.

What are high-performance ceramic materials?

High-performance ceramic materials are made from a mixture of synthetic powders. The sum of their individual properties results in a material that significantly enhances the respective application.

What are the properties of high-performance ceramic materials?

Virtually indestructible thermally, extremely resilient mechanically, and almost indecomposable chemically, polymer ceramics are used wherever top performance is required. They retain their shape and size at any temperature, conduct electricity and heat, and have dielectric properties.

How do the manufacturing processes for high-performance ceramic materials differ from those for traditional ceramics?

For high-performance materials, substances are prepared as powder, shaped, thermally treated, and then processed. The big difference compared to other technical ceramics lies in the pyrolysis of the polymers.

In which industries are high-performance ceramic materials most frequently used, and why?

The most common applications for high-performance ceramic materials are in power generation and storage, mechanical and plant engineering, the mobility sector, optics, electrical engineering, medical technology, and many cross-sectional technologies. They withstand loads with thermal, chemical and mechanical resistance.

What challenges need to be considered when processing and using high-performance ceramic materials?

The discovery that polymers of several substances combine, and the sum of their individual properties results in materials that can withstand even greater loads.