Ceramics Processing in Microtechnology

Dr. H.-J. Ritzhaupt-Kleissl and Assoc. Professor Per Johander

4M Ceramics DivisionCeramics Processing in Microtechnology presents an overview of the current status and future prospects for the processing of ceramic materials in microtechnology. It encompasses the complete process from requirements of the design process, through material development, microforming and thermal processing, and metrology. Also included are the vitally important aspects of quality control, dimensional stability, reproducibility and final properties.

Due to their outstanding properties of hardness, use in high temperatures, abrasion resistance and chemical inertness, as well as their di-, ferro- and piezoelectricity, conductivity and sensor properties, ceramics can be considered for use in a wide field of components and applications. The growth of microsystem technology (MST) requires the miniaturization of technical devices and therefore ceramic microcomponents find wide use as precision parts in medical and dental applications, piezocomponents, sensors, tunable dielectrics for high-frequency application, and microcomponents for microreaction technology.

Creating a ceramic microcomponent for a defined application depends upon the availability of the appropriate material, which can be processed by an adequate processing route which in turn is influenced by the material characteristics, the required shape, size, accuracy and the functionality of the final component. It is often necessary to develop new materials and to establish new manufacturing routes and in so doing generate ceramic components in microdimensions, or with microdetails and accuracies in the micrometre range. Of vital importance is the final shaping or finishing of the microcomponents after the moulding and sintering processes which may be very expensive or even technically impossible.

One of the greatest challenges is to meet the microstructural, dimensional and accuracy requirements. Moulding processes have to be advanced for the fabrication of microcomponents, or new processes to be established. Design of ceramic microcomponents requires a different approach from designing polymer or metal microparts. It is sometimes necessary to establish an integrated line from material development via processing to component design.

The book deals with all these aspects, and much more. Examples are provided throughout making this a useful and interesting treatment of the subject suitable for designers, manufacturers and researchers alike. The team of international authors together represents a formidable body of knowledge which has here been distilled into a vital book for reference and application.

ISBN 978-1904445-84-5, 240 × 170mm hardback, over 200 illustrations, c.448pp, £95, June, 2009.

Whittles Publishing,
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