Ceramics: Clear View
How Ceramics Ensure Protection and Transparency
Due to its properties, the high-performance ceramic Perlucor has already proven itself as a inspection window to monitor processes and as a cover glass in scanners.
Scratch-resistant, hard, chemically resistant, temperature-resistant, transparent and brilliant — this is how Ceram Tec describes its high-performance ceramic Perlucor. But where does it make sense to use this expensive material? With a relative transparency of over 90 %, Perlucor can be used wherever conventional glass reaches its limits. This does not only include small dimensions.
Clear View on Rough Processes
Together with Hema, the ceramic experts have succeeded in using Perlucor as protection for windows on machine tools. The discs provide an excellent view of the machine and allow the production process to be consistently monitored at any time. As protective guards on machine tools, the windows prevent the ejection of tools, workpieces and fragments from the working area of the machine.
To ensure both visibility and protection, Hema safety glass is laminated with transparent ceramic on the side facing the process. Due to its exceptional rigidity and high strength, Perlucor is predestined for such applications: The materials used or produced on machine tools, such as metal chips, can neither scratch nor destroy the transparent ceramic material. With a hardness three to four times as high as that of conventional glasses, the transparent ceramic can withstand even the harshest conditions. Unlike glass, high-performance ceramics are inert. It therefore does not react, or reacts only to a very limited extent, with potential reaction partners. In comparison to conventional windows, this characteristics considerably delay or completely prevent blindness of the pane caused by mechanical or chemical stress.
The so-called SRIW panel from Hema is particularly flat with a construction height of only around 3.5 mm. It can also be installed on machine doors for blasting cabins. Even after many hours of operation under the influence of highly abrasive blasting media, the panel provides an unrestricted view of the cabin.
Flawless Data Acquisition
In cooperation with the scanner manufacturer DESKO, Ceram Tec has also succeeded in developing a more robust alternative to conventional cover glasses. Document, fingerprint or barcode cash register scanners are mainly used in highly frequented areas. Airport as an example: Check-in and boarding procedures must function quickly and reliably around the clock. The cover glasses of the scanners must therefore withstand a high mechanical load, because identity papers are pulled over the glass hundreds of times a day. Conventional glasses can quickly suffer from scratches, for example from abrasive titanium dioxide contained in paper. On the other hand, the covers must be resistant to chemical influences. The degree of transparency also influences the scanning process. For instance, image capturing, which is common at border controls, involves taking inspection images of the passport under different light sources to verify the security features it contains. Less transparent materials have a negative effect on the reading rate, and the quality of the scan suffers. In this way, the final result can be corrupted.
The solution developed by Ceram Tec now uses a laminate of Perlucor that is applied on the glass. The high transparency of the ceramic ensures that the data to be scanned is captured accurately. In contrast to glass, the material is three to four times harder and stronger. Its Mohs' hardness ranges from 8 to 9 — exceeded only by diamonds or rubies. Thanks to this outstanding hardness and resistance, Perlucor protects the scanners permanently against mechanical influences or even vandalism.
This article was first published by konstruktionspraxis.
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