Technical Ceramics

Maximum use temperature

Maximum Use Temperature

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Materials are often grouped by their relative service temperature range. Soda glass and borosilicate glass are generally used below 500°C, Silicon is used below 600°C, and glass ceramics and glazed porcelain are used below 1000°C. The maximum use temperature of technical or specialty ceramics (e.g. unglazed porcelain, fused silica, alumina, zirconia, silicon carbide, magnesia, boron nitride) is typically between 1000°C and 2000°C, exceeding many metallic alloys and all polymers. Ceramics that operate above 2000°C are often referred to as ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTC). These UHTC often include carbides and borides and, because of their extreme thermal stability, are frequently considered for supersonic and hypersonic applications.



Typical maximum use temperature (°C) in inert atmosphere
Recrystallized SiC 2000
SSiC 2000
Calcia Fully Stabilised Zirconia 2000
Alumina 1400-1800
Magnesium Aluminate 1700
Porous Alumina 500-1700
Porous Aluminium Silicate 1350-1650
CVD SiC 1600
Nitride Bonded SiC 1450
Aluminium Silicate 1400
ZTA 1400
SiSiC 1350
Mullite Bonded SiC 1300
Silicon Nitride 1200
Fused Silica 1000
Glass Ceramic 1000
Porous Fused Silica 850
Partially Stabilised Zirconia 500


Compressive Load

From a practical perspective, the maximum use temperature of any ceramic only has meaning in the context of its intended use. For example, a ceramic part under a compressive load will have a lower maximum use temperature compared to the same ceramic part that is not subjected to a compressive load. Likewise, examples of other considerations include how a material’s electrical properties vary with temperature, whether thermal shock resistance is a need, and what type of atmosphere (e.g. vacuum, inert gas, oxygen) will exist.

Illustrating this point, ceramics’ maximum use temperatures are often plotted relative to another property attribute to better illustrate the ceramic’s relative position versus alternate materials.

flexural strength

Note: At elevated temperatures, flexural strengths can be lower than room temperature values.

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