- 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
- 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.