Mechanical and Thermal Applications of Ceramics

Industrial ceramic materials are extensively utilized for applications that require hard, strong and abrasion resistant materials. Machinists for example exploit cutting tools that are tipped with alumina (an aluminum oxide based ceramic compound) as well as tools made out of silicon nitrides to shape, cut, sand, grind and polish, nickel based alloys, cast ion and other metallic substances and materials. Silicon carbides, silicon nitrides and a number of zirconias can be utilized in making components and parts such as turbocharger rotors and valves for high temperature gas turbine and diesel powered engines.

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Furthermore, the textile industry has been employing the use of ceramic materials as thread guides that are highly resistant to the cutting action of fibers that are travelling through the aforementioned guides at great speeds. Due to the fact that ceramic materials have a higher resistance to corrosion and are harder than majority of metals, manufacturers most often coat metal and other hard surfaces with ceramic enamel.

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Manufacturers put on ceramic enamel by a compressed gas that contains ceramic powder into the flame of a hydrocarbon oxygen torch that is burning at temperatures of about 4500° F or 2500° C. The molten ceramic powder particles stick to the surface of the material and subsequently cool to form a hard and durable ceramic coating. Certain parts of household appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, dryers, washing machines, microwave ovens and televisions as well as laboratory equipment are sometimes covered with ceramic enamel to prevent overheating and consequent malfunctioning.

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