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New Process Fires Up Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramics Industry

Posted on: 05/26/2014
A key to building denser, stronger materials that won't fail or fracture under extreme conditions is the manufacture of ultra-high-temperature (UHT) ceramics. UHT ceramics can withstand highly extreme conditions, such as the heat coming out of a rocket as it's launching into space.

With support from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a company called Ceralink has developed UHT ceramics using a new method that harnesses the power of microwaves.

The machines that Ceralink uses to make the UHT ceramics still fire up to high temperatures. But, rather than combining the heat with high pressure to make the material super hard and strong, microwave assist technology (MAT) furnaces is used. It's a process called 'enhanced diffusion. The new technology has demonstrated great promise in driving down the cost and time of manufacturing high-quality UHT ceramic parts.

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