Machining Examples

Machinable Ceramics – Custom Machined Parts

There are a number of different machinable ceramics with varying properties produced by several material manufacturers. However, unlike engineering ceramics, all machinable ceramics can be machined into complex and precision parts with extremely small features using standard metal working/cutting tools.

As machinable ceramics can be quickly and inexpensively machined, they are often used to make precision parts for rapid prototypes. If you are not familiar with these materials, we will help you select a machinable ceramic with the right properties for your application. Take advantage of Top Seiko’s comprehensive precision machining service including material selection assistance and material sourcing!

Property Comparison Table of Machinable Ceramics

Composition Content Rate(%) Vickers Hardness
Flexural Strengt
Max Use Temperature
(oxidizing atmosphere)
Max Use Temperature
(vacuum condition)(℃)
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
Thermal Conductivity
Thermal Shock Resistance(℃) Dielectric Strength (kV/mm)
Macerite-S Fluorian phlogopite - 2.2 110 1,000 1,200 9.3
1.6 150 >10
Photoveel Fluorian phlogopite
- 2.2 150 1,000 1,000 7.8
1.5 150 20
Macor Fluorian phlogopite
borosilicate glass
2.2 >94 1,000 800 9.3
1.4 200 40
N-1 BN >99 Shore Hardness12(HS) 30 950 2,000 -1.4
63 25
BA-2000 AlN
Shore Hardness40(HS) 120 950 1,950 5.4 95 15
SBN30 Si₃N₄
Shore Hardness48(HS) 140 950 1,500 2.0 33 27
SBN50 Si₃N₄ 50
Shore Hardness69(HS) 270 950 1,500 2.6 47 36
Shapal Hi M-Soft AlN
- 3.8 300 1,000 1,900 4.4 90 400 40

For more information, see Material Guide

Machinable Ceramics – Key Properties & Popular Applications

Key Properties Applications
Easily Machinable Machinable ceramics are ideal for micromachining small features and holes. ■Fixtures and parts used in high temperature environments
■Fixture parts requiring the CTE closely matches that of Silicon
■Parts subject to rapid heating and cooling
■High temperature electrical insulators
High Hardness & Strength The mechanical properties of machinable ceramics tend to be lower than those of engineering ceramics. However, fine-grained machinable ceramics are nearly as strong as alumina.
Excellent Heat Resistance Machinable ceramics with high BN, Si3N4 and/or AlN contents can withstand very high temperatures.
Available in a wide range of CTEs Values of thermal expansion vary from negative to high depending on the machinable ceramic material.
Shapal Hi-M soft and BA-2000 have thermal expansion coefficients similar to that of Silicon.
High Thermal Shock Resistance Machinable ceramics with high BN, Si3N4 and/or AlN contents have high thermal shock resistance.
High Dielectric Strength Some machinable ceramics including Macor and Boron Nitride machinable ceramic have superior high dielectric strength.

Note: Machinable Ceramics in general are relatively high cost materials, and their applications are usually limited to small parts/ components.

Available Sizes and Machining Capability

Availability Sizes(mm) Machining Capability Sizes(mm)
Plate 300 x 300 x 50 thickness Hole diameter Φ0.05~
Rod Φ50×300 Hole depth 300 or less
Groove width 0.05 or more Max. hole number 10,000
Max. Groove(pocket) depth 50 Thread size M1.2 or more

Note: Available sizes vary depending on each material.

Ceramics List

  • Alumina(Al₂O₃)

    Excellent electrical insulation properties , High temperature resistance , Plasma resistance , High hardness , Wear resistance

  • Aluminum nitride(AlN)

    High thermal conductivity , High temperature resistance , Low thermal expansion , Excellent electrical insulation properties , Plasma resistant , Corrosion resistant

  • Zirconia(ZrO2)

    High fracture toughness , Low thermal conductivity , Wear resistant

  • Silicon carbide(SiC)

    High hardness , High thermal conductivity , High mechanical strength , Corrosion resistant

  • Silicon Nitride (Si3N4)

    High fracture toughness , Low thermal expansion , Wear resistant , Good thermal shock resistance

  • Machinable Ceramics

    Excellent electrical insulation properties , High machinability , High temperature resistance

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