Our definition of technical ceramic
There are a number of different definitions of technical ceramics. According to the most conventional definition, a technical ceramic is an inorganic, non-metallic material that is virtually or completely insoluble and which is at least partially crystalline. The conventional definition also assumes that technical ceramics should ideally be shaped at room temperature and only obtain their characteristic properties after heat treatment at high temperatures.
However, the latest advancements in ceramics production (CVD and SLM)* have ensured that high temperatures are no longer required to make ceramic materials. With SLM, shaping and heat treatment are carried out in one step.
Glass is also considered a ceramic material in the United States, while in Europe it is not. The difference lies in the fact that ceramic materials are largely crystalline, while glass is amorphic. However, certain mixtures of ceramic materials may also be partially amorphic.
This is why we at Innalox use a definition based on a more chemical perspective. We define technical ceramics as compounds of metals or metalloids with oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and/or boron that form covalent and/or ionogenic bonds and which may be crystalline.
1 CVD: Chemical Vapour Deposition; the chemical formation and evaporation of ceramic materials from the gas phase. This is the technology used for the manufacture of products such as brake discs.
2 SLM: 3D technology by which products are created layer-by-layer by melting material in a powder bed using powerful lasers.