With their unique mix of chemical, mechanical and electrical strengths, Technical Ceramics are increasingly becoming the material of choice for the Design Engineer. IPS Ceramics stands ready to meet the demands of the ever-growing industrial design and manufacturing industries. Here are a few examples of our most recent work.
Safety Critical Application
Fire-rated enclosures are designed for use on safety critical circuits and those carrying emergency power supplies, and must be able to resist prolonged direct exposures to fire. Within these enclosures, technical ceramics are often used as terminal blocks due to their superb heat resistance. Ceramics can withstand much higher internal temperatures than poly or KRG terminals and can survive a fire test up to 842°C, enabling fire-rated enclosures to conform to BS EN 50200.
Working with one of the UK’s leading enclosure manufacturers, IPS Ceramics has designed both 8-way and 12-way ceramic blocks. These designs provide a much neater solution than individual rail mounted terminals and come supplied with a complete set of nickel-plated stainless-steel connectors and screws. The result is a no-hassle, ready-to-fit component with a strong focus on design flexibility and component compatibility.
Many in the precision manufacturing industry rely upon investment casting for its ability to create complex shapes with excellent tolerances and surface finishes. In this process, stability and high temperature resistance are vital to ensure good quality final results. Because investment casting plugs are single-use products which form part of an expendable ceramic shell, they must be cost-efficient too.
With this in mind, IPS Ceramics has designed a range of casting plugs that effectively cover assembly vent holes and provide a mechanical means of closing core supports within the assembly. Developed with a highly established Investment Casting foundry, these highly stable, competitively priced plugs have already been supplied to some of the best known aero engine and industrial gas turbine component manufacturers, as well as an internationally renowned producer of nickel-chromium steel alloys.
Advanced Heating Elements
Furnace designers all around the world rely on the very best heating elements in order to achieve ideal firing configurations and guarantee long-lasting top performance – they are absolutely crucial when it comes to improving sintering and heat treat processes. IPS Ceramics is on hand to help with its new range of Silicon Carbide (SiC) Heating Elements.
These elements have many advantages over molybdenum disilicide (MoSi2) or metallic types – they are more easily installed, maintained and changed; they are self-supporting; and they offer superior performance and strength at elevated temperatures. Special protective films protect against oxidization and long-term increases in resistance. This makes for a dependable and long-lasting product suitable for the toughest of environments.
Always on the lookout for the next innovation, IPS Ceramics often seizes the opportunity to take industry standard materials but produce unique bespoke components from them. Such is the case with its two main lines of advanced cordierite materials (porous and non-porous).
Cordierite products are fired close to 1400°C to give a material that is volume stable in service (temperatures up to 1300°C). The porous grade is best for thermal shock resistance and use at higher temperatures, whilst non-porous cordierite is stronger and impermeable. The manufacturing processes (extrusion, pressing and injection moulding) allow a wide variety of shapes and sizes to be produced. This offers the customer an attractive mix of design flexibility and high-temperature capability.
“We really enjoy working with design engineers because they constantly challenge us while also presenting a wealth of fresh opportunities for the exploitation of ceramics,” says IPS sales director, Phil Green. “Sometimes they are surprised that certain components can be made in ceramic; other times they learn about performance qualities of which they unaware; and then there are those who e-mail us a drawing and ask ‘can you make this?’ – generally followed by how fast and at what cost?!”
IPS Ceramics has the expertise of an in-house design team to assist customers with product development, running alongside its CNC rapid prototyping facility.