Transparent Spinel - Basic Properties and Applications

SCERAM CERAMICS is the leader of the NANOTRANS project, a research program sponsored by the French Army (DGA). The objective of the project is to develop transparent ceramics discs or tiles in large sizes for use in ballistic protection and civil applications, using Spark Plasma Sintering (SPG) technology.

In partnership with uB Filiale and INSA MATEIS, SCERAM works on improving the SPS process to fabricate perfectly dense transparent polycrystalline ceramic. The company also produces transparent ceramics using different sintering processes, including Hot pressed and Hot Isostatic Press. SCERAM’s transparent ceramic spinel (Figure 1) is ‘ITAR-free’.

Transparent Ceramic Spinel.

Figure 1. Transparent Ceramic Spinel.

Basic Properties of Transparent Ceramic Spinel

The following are the basic properties of SCERAM’s transparent ceramic spinel:

  • Perfectly dense material
  • High temperature resistance > 1200°C
  • High RIT in the visible, UV and IR (such as sapphire and quartz)
  • Very high mechanical resistance (wear, abrasion…)
  • No open porosity
  • Machinable with high precision and easily polished.

The physical, mechanical, optical and thermal properties of transparent ceramic spinel are listed in the following table:

Material Transparent ceramic
Chemical formula MgAl2O4
Aspect/color Transparent
Water absorption % at RI 0
Phase Polycristaline
Mechanical Measuring unit
Density q/cm3 > 3,57
Hardness Vickers (Gpa) > 14
Flexion resistance MPa 150 /200
Young Modulus 280
Optical
Transparency RIT% 80% / 85%
Black spot % <3
Thermal
Thermal conductivity W/m/°K > 15
Using temperature °C >1200
Melting temperature °C >1800 / 2200

This ceramic is an ideal cost-effective alternative to sapphire.

Available Standard Dimensions of Transparent Ceramic Spinel

SCERAM offers transparent ceramic spinel in the following standard dimensions:

  • Diameter 25 x Thickness 3 mm
  • Diameter 30 x Thickness 2 mm
  • Diameter 50 x Thickness 5 mm
  • Diameter 76 x Thickness 3 mm
  • Diameter 100 x Thickness 6 mm
  • Diameter 150 x Thickness 10 mm
  • Diameter 200 x Thickness 10 mm
  • Diameter 100 x Thickness 6 mm
  • Diameter 150 x Thickness 10 mm
  • Diameter 200 x Thickness 10 mm

SCERAM can machine transparent spinel to shapes required by customers, by means of polishing, thickness, drilling, grinding, and other techniques.

Applications of Transparent Ceramic Spinel

Transparent ceramic spinel has found use in a myriad of applications, including ballistic armor windows, missile domes, transparent watch body, security windows, high pressure windows, high temperature windows, and wear resistance windows.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Sceram Ceramics.

For more information on this source, please visit Sceram Ceramics.

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