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Why are some ceramics machineable?


Frequently Asked Questions

Most ceramics are very hard and very brittle, making them extremely difficult to machine - often, diamond cutting tools are required.

However, some commercially available ceramics have deliberate additions which modify their structure, i.e. materials such as mica or hexagonal boron nitride. These materials confer properties to the body of the ceramic akin to those of free-machining steel. Good tolerances and surface finish are readily achievable.

Other additions - such as titanium nitride, titanium diboride or silicon carbide - can be made to ceramics which make them electrically conducting. Under such conditions, electro-discharge machining (EDM) can be employed.

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