Macor is a machinable glass ceramic produced by Corning. It can be machined using high speed steel and carbide tools, using conventional techniques such as sawing, milling, turning, drilling, tapping, grinding and polishing.
It is used in a wide range of different industries and applications as outlined below.
Over 200 different components on America’s Space Shuttle and other spacecraft are fashioned from Macor. These include:
• Retaining rings for hinge points, windows and doors for the shuttle
• Frame corners, joined by a combination of machined (butt-lap) mechanical joints and a sealing glass for the NASA spaceborne gamma radiation detector.
Macor is used in nozzles on the tips of oxyacetylene torches as it is not wetted by welding splatter.
Macor is used in medical components due to its inertness and ability to be machined to tight tolerances.
Ultra-High Vacuum Applications
Macor is used for insulators and coil supports for vacuum feed-throughs, where it can be used to support conductors or to seal against glass to create a vacuum tight hermetic seal.
Constant Vacuum Applications
Various components made from Macor are used in constant vacuum applications. Some of these include spacers, headers, microwave windows and sample holders in field ion microscopes.
Nuclear Related Experiments
As Macor is not affected by radiation, high precision Macor cubes are used as control samples for testing of other materials under nuclear environments.
Other applications that Macor is used in include:
• Electrode supports
• Burner blocks for high heat, electrical cutting applications