Ceramic Machining with Monforts

Industrial ceramics, silicon nitride (Si3N4), are every more commonly used materials of the future. The material has near to unique characteristics. Industrial ceramics are extremely hard, wear resistant, chemically resistant, not electrically conductive, pressure resistant and temperature resistant to 1,300 ºC (with a low thermal-expansion co-efficient). Ceramic components are used where ever extreme conditions occur: for example in foundry technology (aluminium smelting), in the chemical industry (washers and seal rings) or also in Formula 1 (gudgeon pins, bearing technology...).

In the finishing process of sintered hardened ceramics until recently only complex expensive grinding processes were used (up to 80% of the component cost). With the RNC 400 LaserTurn, Monforts has developed a machine that makes process capable, markedly cheaper hard turning of the ceramic possible. A laser combined with the tool warms and softens the component so that it is possible to machine it with a hard turning process. Here it is possible to achieve surface finish with Ra values of up to 0.2 μm with excellent edge quality. Because it is also possible to perform parting-off operations Monforts enables the cost effective option of using sintered hard ceramics in bar stock.