CERAMICS

Problem Solving

Ceramics

Touchstone has invented and patented a unique device, the Fiber Push-Out SEM wherein the de-bond strength and sliding friction are measured at temperatures up to 1000 degrees Centigrade.

The following examples illustrate some of our contributions to this business sector:

  • Touchstone performed SEM/EDS analysis of samples from Abledinger Brick, Ceramic Tile, Nozzle, and Clay Tile components from a ceramics manufacturer. All were possible source materials for inclusions. The results allowed the client to identify the source of the inclusions as improperly fired tile liners used in the gating system.
  • Touchstone assisted in the development of advanced ceramic fibers used in ceramic and metal matrix composites. In this effort, Touchstone performed hundreds of fractographic studies via the scanning electron microscope on ceramic fibers.
  • A question, which concerned overheating of the steel shell on a rotary kiln, was brought to Touchstone engineers. The steel was examined microstructurally and found not to have been affected by heat from use. Further work included an evaluation of the mechanical properties of the brick kiln lining which had crumbled and allowed heat to reach the steel shell. The brick was found to be acceptable for use. The problem was traced to wear of the support rollers which allowed flexure of the entire kiln during use. This flexure resulted in the refractory failure.
  • Touchstone has performed fiber bond strength measurements on ceramic matrix composites. Touchstone has invented and patented a unique device, the Fiber Push-Out SEM wherein the de-bond strength and sliding friction are measured at temperatures up to 1000 degrees Centigrade. Readouts include load versus displacement, load versus time, acoustic emission and detailed imaging of the de-bond zone.
  • Touchstone has performed substantial work in the development, testing, and product applications for carbon based ceramic foams.
  • Porcelain coatings on steels often exhibit a defect that appears as a crater-like raised area in an otherwise smooth finish. Evaluation of the base steel found surface carbides, which interfere with the coating during the firing operation.

The above examples are only a sample of our work in this area. We would be pleased to provide any additional information you may require. We also invite you to review examples on our website of work that we have performed in support of other business sectors.