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Advanced Ceramics in the Energy Industry
A world without high-performance ceramics would be a world without energy. Today, perhaps no other industry is as heavily dependent on the properties of advanced ceramics as the energy industry.
Precision ceramics and glass components are used for solar panels, capacitors and high-temperature supercapacitors, solid electrolytes for batteries, separators and coatings for fuel cells, conductive coatings, and more.
Ceramics are used across the entire energy pipeline, from power generation and storage to transfer and distribution. Because ceramics are so flexible and customizable, components can range in properties from insulating to superconducting.
Energy Sectors Using Precision Ceramics
With their superior thermal, electrical, and physical properties, advanced ceramics are used in applications like:
- Electrical Power Components, including ceramic resistors and planar capacitors.
- Energy Generation, including turbine engine components and heat engine insulators.
- Energy Distribution insulators, interconnects, and seal components.
- Sensor Devices, including ceramic radiation and ceramic gas detectors.
- Renewable Energy components, including solar systems and nuclear components.
Precision ceramics work best in these applications because they can withstand high heat and corrosive environments, as well as high pressure conditions. They have outstanding mechanical wear properties and can be crafted into specialized components with either insulating or conducting properties.
Precision Ceramics for High Tech Energy
Ceramics have been used in power generation and distribution since the 1850’s when porcelain insulators were used in the telegraph industry. Today, precision ceramics continue to lead the way by enabling next generation energy applications, like:
Fuel Cells and Batteries
Ceramic fuel cells efficiently convert chemical energy into electrical energy and produce very low emissions. While they can work with a variety of fuels, a typical ceramic fuel cell powered by hydrogen provides a clean alternative to fossil fuels.
Solid state batteries are known to be safer than the lithium-ion variety while also delivering higher performance and longer lifecycles. Ceramics can provide a solid electrolyte, improving energy storage and decreasing combustibility.
Thermoelectric ceramics are leading the way in capturing waste energy. Developed by the auto industry, they can capture up to three quarters of the energy usually lost in exhaust heat and convert it to electricity, boosting fuel efficiency and lowering emissions.
Pioneering thermoelectric ceramic applications are capturing body heat to power wearable devices.
Thermal Energy Storage
In applications where energy is stored as latent heat, technical ceramics provide an excellent solution. Manufactured as porous, honeycomb structures, ceramics can be used for holding and releasing heat energy.
Long term heat storage ceramics can absorb thermal energy from hot water in environments like nuclear and thermal power plants and be put to use supplying the energy needs of nearby buildings and industrial facilities.
Manufacturing Expertise and Reliability
At GBC Advanced Materials, we have the expertise, production capabilities, and efficient workflow needed to deliver the critical ceramics parts needed by today’s energy industry. Our capabilities include:
- ISO Pressing (including Mechanical Pressing and Cold Isostatic Pressing)
- Green Manufacturing (delivering closer near net dimensions, reducing post-fired/grinding costs and lead times.
- Sintering (applied to a powder compact in order to impart strength, integrity and densification)
- Hard Grinding (precision removal of material resulting in improved surface finishes and precise geometries)
- Extrusion (cross-sectional shapes to create tubes of all shapes and sizes)
- Polishing & Lapping (producing dimensionally accurate specimens to high surface and roughness requirements)
Visit our Capabilities Page to learn more.
Why Choose GBC Advanced Materials?
The future of the advanced ceramics industry is bright, and GBC Advanced Materials has an important role to play. We are chosen by clients in a variety of industries for our low tooling cost, reduced lead times, lower material and machining costs, but most especially for our 30+ years of experience in machining engineered ceramics and specialty materials.
For some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry, state-of-the art materials, and exceptional quality in precision ceramics, email GBC materials at Sales@GBCMaterials.com or visit our Contact Us page today.