Manufacture of prototype nanostructured ceramic components

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Materials

Abstract

Zirconia-based ceramics are used in many engineering applications but they fail when exposed to moisture at 100 300oC. Overcome this and major new markets open up in the medical and petrochemical industries amongst many others. Results obtained by Loughborough University indicate this can be achieved by producing nanostructured zirconia.The science is now largely understood so the task is to scale up the manufacture of these materials to prototype level and transfer the technology into industry. Three industrial partners, including a nanopowder producer, a ceramic manufacturer and a control valve manufacturer, will work with Loughborough to achieve this.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Ghanizadeh S. (2016) Spray Freeze Granulation of Submicrometre alpha-Alumina Using Ultrasonication in JOURNAL OF CERAMIC SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

publication icon
Min Nah Tong (2011) Characterisation of Submicron-Grain Sized Yttria-Stabilised Zirconia Electrolyte for SOFCs in Journal of Materials Science and Engineering A

publication icon
Ramanujam P (2016) Solvothermal nanoYAG synthesis: Mechanism and particle growth kinetics in The Journal of Supercritical Fluids

 
Description The inability to produce nanostructured ceramics via industrially viable manufacturing routes has been the key barrier to market penetration. Work undertaken at Loughborough University has resulted in overcoming this barrier as large, complex shapes are now being fabricated through optimising the pilot scale manufacturing conditions for nanostructured zirconia components. Scale up quantities of granulated powders suitable for industrial pressing trials have been prepared and successfully used in factory-floor automated presses, which was a milestone in fabrication of valve components. In order to evaluate the suitability of nanostructured zirconia for valve component applications the parts were

subjected to slurry erosion and ultrasound cavitation tests at Southampton University. Zirconia showed 6 fold improvement compared to the commonly-used stellite-coated commercial stainless steel specimens under slurry erosion conditions, although it was less good for cavitation situations. In parallel, a market survey was performed to investigate the size of the market. It was found that the global sales for advanced ceramics was around US$ 44 billion in 2011 and was projected to reach >US$ 56 billion by 2015. Japan and the US formed half of the market in 2011 but it is projected that by 2015 Japan will gain a majority share of >40% in the annual sales of advanced ceramics. Over 50 zirconia manufacturing companies were identified, mainly in the US and Europe and contacted. All the companies who participated in the survey confirmed that the granulated powder was relevant to their existing technologies and were happy to adopt the powder for initial trials. Following the successes obtained, additional funding has been obtained, from both Loughborough University until Aug 2012 and MEL Chemicals from Aug 2012, to transfer the technology to MEL and to seek to exploit the properties of nanostructured zirconia further and improve the environmental sustainability of the production processes. Furthermore, a licence agreement has been signed with MEL Chemicals Ltd. The achievements of this project along with other activities of ceramic research group in the field of nanoceramics have been recognised by the Enterprise Office at Loughborough University and it has been nominated for Loughborough University 2012 Enterprise Award (outcome known 25/04/12).
Exploitation Route The technology has been licensed to MEL Chemicals. With a license now signed between MEL Chemicals and Loughborough University a clear exploitation route exists. The focus is now on scaling up two key steps in the process route.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description This research led to a series of subsequent research grants and the processes developed have been licensed by MEL Chemicals.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Electronics,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description EPSRC
Amount £358,390 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L024780/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2014 
End 05/2017
 
Description Loughborough Univ Enterprise Office - Bridging funds for postdoc
Amount £8,487 (GBP)
Organisation Loughborough University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2011 
End 03/2012
 
Description Loughborough Univ research studentship - Transparent nanocrystalline YAG
Amount £51,570 (GBP)
Organisation Loughborough University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Description Manufacturing nanostructured ceramics: new process for concentrating nanosuspensions via an industrially viable route
Amount £12,983 (GBP)
Organisation Loughborough University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Morganite Electrical Carbon Ltd - Transparent nanocrystalline YAG
Amount £45,000 (GBP)
Organisation Morgan Advanced Materials 
Department Morganite Electrical Carbon Ltd
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Description Nano transparent alumina
Amount $66,000 (USD)
Organisation ONRG Office of Naval Research Global 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 09/2012 
End 03/2015
 
Description Nano transparent alumina
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2012 
End 03/2015
 
Description Nanoplant
Amount £358,390 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L024780/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 04/2017
 
Description TSB - Nanozirconia for ceramic implants
Amount £206,020 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 09/2013
 
Description Manufacturing nanostructured ceramics 
Organisation MEL Chemicals Inc
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution MEL Chemicals licensed our nanozirconia technology in Feb 2012; we are now working very closely with them to see the products through to market. We are now taking the technology to market.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Plenary lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk given at the International Conference on Advanced Materials 2011, Coimbatore, India, December 2011.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011