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This guide is for technical ceramic products (such as alumina, zirconia, silicon nitride, silicon carbide) produced by “conventional” forming techniques, meaning ceramic powders that are pressed into a form, machined in a “green” or pre-fired state, fired, and then finished ground.
This guide is not intended for ceramic products which are produced by other methods such as extrusion, additive manufacturing (3D printing), slip casting, injection moulding, tape casting, or lamination. Because these methods differ, additional or different design considerations and limits can apply.
Ceramic’s set of physical properties differ greatly from those of metals and polymers. These differences should be considered when designing a ceramic part to replace a metallic or polymeric part to assure the design is both economical and fit for the intended purpose.
For example, when designing a metallic part, the average of measured mechanical strength properties is often used in design calculations, because the distribution of measured strengths is typically narrow. However, strength distributions of ceramics can be wide. If mechanical reliability of the part is critical, then understanding the ceramic’s Weibull modulus in combination with its measured average strength is important.