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Project Information At a Glance

  • Ceramic powder is a necessary ingredient for most of the structural ceramics, electronic ceramics, ceramic coatings, and chemical processing and environmental related ceramics. For most advanced ceramic components, starting powder is a crucial factor. The performance characteristics of a ceramic component are greatly influenced by precursor powder characteristics. Among the most important are the powder's chemical purity, particle size distribution, and the manner in which the powders are packed in the green body before sintering.
  • The outstanding properties possessed by advanced ceramics are achieved through special compositions and microstructures that require very careful control throughout the successive stages of ceramic processing. These stages are: powder synthesis, powder sizing, rheology control, consolidation and forming processes, sintering, final machining, and inspection.
  • Powders of narrow size distribution can be compacted into ordered arrays and, when in the submicron region, these powders are sintered at reduced temperatures. Consequently, in the processing of advanced ceramics, there is a growing need to develop synthetic techniques capable of producing submicron, chemically pure powders with a tailored size distribution. However, the cost is again the factor since the new synthetic processing techniques are comparatively more expensive than the currently established powder manufacturing methods.
  • Nanoceramic powders constitute an important segment of the whole nanostructured materials market. In fact, nanoceramic powders constitute almost 90% of the total nanostructured materials. These powders are used in an array of applications from microelectronics, optical, chemical and environmental related, and magnetic recording applications
  • The total U.S. market for advanced ceramic powders in 2002, including nanopowders, was estimated to be 918 million pounds worth $1,605 million. This is projected to increase at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 7.3% to 1,178 million pounds worth $2,286 million by 2007. For 2002, BCC estimates that the total consumption of nanosize ceramic powders was about $154 million, and is expected to grow at an AAGR of 9.3% to $241 million by 2007.

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