60 Speakers to Present at 2018 Ceramics Expo Conference

The 60 speakers who will present during Conference @ Ceramics Expo represent an impressive sphere of knowledge and influence, and during three days of free-to-attend twin-track sessions will aim to touch every point on the compass of today’s ceramic world. Certain topics – such as 3D printing, the revolution in automotive, and products for power and energy – are top of many people’s lists and they all feature strongly at the event.

“This year will be a big year for developments in the joining of dissimilar materials for battery (electric vehicle), energy, and aerospace applications,” says Lucideon’s Andre Prette. The theme is picked up by Will Paxton of Ford, “In the United States, cars and trucks account for almost 20% of the country’s CO2 emissions. When we fully transition to battery electric vehicles, we have the best shot at reducing the carbon impact by charging those vehicles with renewable energy sources. Part of getting there is developing a new generation of lighter and more powerful batteries.”

The whole battery scene in North America is one of rapidly developing applied science and making the most of ceramic and allied technologies is to the fore. “There are some very exciting developments in battery technology, with many researchers working on lithium batteries with solid electrolytes,” says Michael Hill at Skyworks Solutions. “Not only does this improve the energy density of the battery, but it also prevents the thermal runaway issues experienced with batteries containing liquid electrolytes.” Tony Finoli at McDanel agrees, “The continuing advancement in new technologies such as additive manufacturing and new energy applications – for example, battery and membrane materials – has really stood out to me.”

Confronting issues of size, at both ends of the scale, is another of the topics to be addressed during the conference. “The current generation of electronics is hitting its miniaturization limitations through the use of traditional ceramic materials. Electronics companies are increasingly turning toward advanced nanotechnology in electroceramics to get them past these limitations. This requires incorporation of new materials and new bottom-up approaches to production of these components, says Kapil Deshpande (Croda). “Some of the issues that need to be solved are the cost of nanoparticle production, the incorporation of the nanoparticles into final forms, and the need for lower temperature sintering due to the size of component not being suitable for high temperatures.”

Finoli expands on this, “As adoption of advanced ceramics continues to grow, customers are requesting bigger parts with more stringent tolerances and more demanding applications. This can be a challenge for dense advanced ceramics, which commonly shrink 20-25% during sintering. However, by using improved processing techniques and precision machining, some of the requests can be met.”

Undoubtedly for a number of these areas, additive manufacturing is set to increasingly come into its own. It’s a forming technique with which, according to Richard Clark at Morgan Advanced Materials, “it is now possible to produce high-strength, high-hardness, and high-temperature ceramics, greatly expanding the market opportunities for this manufacturing process.”

These and many other avenues will be explored at the fourth Conference @ Ceramics Expo, again providing a searchlight over the route to constant enhancement. 

As DiPerri says, “With every new technology comes the birth of something better.”

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