By Jon Binner, Paul Hogg and John Murphy (Eds.)
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3 Strong piezoelectric ceramic A piezoelectric ceramic which is three times stronger than conventional products has been developed using ceramic powder produced in a proprietary process by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd of Osaka, Japan. 2 μητι powder at 1100°C, 200°C lower than conventional methods. 4 μίπ, one-third of the size of conventional products. Low temperature sintering prevents vaporisation of the ceramic, resulting in a more useful composition. 4 mm diameter particles in 7 minutes.
The density ranges from 6300 to 6500 kg/m , while its bulk density is as low as 700-900 kg/m . 05-10 S/m at 20°C, increasing to 20-800 S/m at 1500°C. The powder is said to be suitable for electric heating elements, electroconductive coatings and composites, and thermistor and electrode manufacture. The alumina doped with titania is available as powder in three size fractions: 5-20 μηη, 20-63 μηι and 40-100 μνη. The titania is said to be uniformly distributed throughout the approximately 46 Advanced Materials Source Book Ceramics spherical alumina particles.
To make the ceramic, crystallization of the material is carried out under external pressure, forcing the ß-phase crystals into a two-dimensional orientation. The company claims it can control the degree of orientation by varying the raw materials, sintering temperature and time at which pressure is applied. The degree of orientation then influences the strength and toughness achieved. The material is expected to be used in high temperature structural applications such as automobile engine components and gas turbine components.