Raw material consistency is critical in the production of quality technical ceramic items. Our diverse product portfolio can meet all the mineral requirements of manufacturers for the main types of technical ceramics: Electrical Porcelain, Chemical & Metallurgical (laboratory ware / catalysts) and Mechanical & Thermal (abrasives, grinding media)
The choice of body raw materials is driven by the properties which are desired during the key manufacturing stages, although our minerals are designed to enhance the properties of the final products through:
- plasticity and shape retention
- good fired stability and subsequent dimensional accuracy in the final product,
- high tensile & compressive strengths
- improved product resistance to abrasion and chemical attack
- good thermal shock resistance and stability
We work with our customers to understand their goals before developing an optimum combination of body raw materials including:
Plastic materials: our range of refined and blended plastic clays and kaolins work to ‘bind’ a mass together, they can provide increased strength in filter press or plastic extrusion operations allowing for improved forming performance, including moisture retention, firmness. The specialised electrical porcelain blends have low colouring oxides, low carbon and their carefully controlled particle size distribution assists in reducing deformation throughout the production process.
Fillers: our specialist silicas control thermal expansion and shrinkage and also allow the body to breathe during firing.
Fluxes: Sibelco’s range of feldspathic minerals reduces the fusion temperature of the ceramic body and generally form glasses if heated to a sufficiently high enough temperature.
To learn more about the role of minerals in Technical Ceramics, please click here to enter our Knowledge Zone.