High density technical ceramics

Microscopic view of high density PZT ceramic material

Morgan introduces Lead Zirconate Titanate technical ceramic for high frequency transducers in aerospace and defence applications.

Morgan Advanced Materials has introduced a high-density, defect-free Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) ceramic components to its established technical ceramics portfolio.

By precisely modifying one of its innovative core processes to optimise microstructural control and enable enhanced machining, Morgan has been able to reimagine its popular soft and hard piezoelectric ceramic materials to create high-density variants, which comprise grain sizes between 2 and 4 µm and pores below 3 µm.

Ideal for high frequency transducer applications as well as extruded products, the development of this new fine grain, defect-free piezoelectric ceramic will enable Morgan to meet the demands of its customers in fields such as medical imaging and consumer electronics. It is also well suited to the military and aerospace sectors and low power consumption applications.

Retaining all the attributes of the manufacturer’s original PZT ceramic, the new defect-free alternatives will become the material of choice for OEMs working amidst the device miniaturisation trend that is impacting many sectors, from augmented reality in the electronics market, to ultrasonic printing, high-frequency 1-3 composites in medical imaging, and finger print scanning within the security sector.

With an enhanced microstructure, the PZT can be diced finely (˞30-50 µm pillars) and machined more than its traditional counterpart, to create strong, reliable, high-performance component parts for environments where space is at a premium.

Florence Godfrin, Materials and Applications Engineer for Morgan, comments on the importance of this material innovation: “Like many of our material innovations, our defect-free PZT is a direct result of a real customer need, initiated back in 2013 when we were tasked with producing a PZT product that had high density and low porosity. From there, we used the same core manufacturing process to develop and research other material improvements across both our soft and hard piezoelectric ceramics.

“The distinct characteristics of this new PZT material have been found to offer improved machinability and increased mechanical strength over conventional materials. This is especially beneficial for actuator applications, in which our fine grain defect-free PZT can deliver improved reliability, higher driving fields and lower driving voltages.

“At this stage we have manufactured a number of different small components using the new defect-free material, with a number of larger products set to benefit from the innovation in due course, which will increase the piezoelectric properties as well as the coupling of the parts to deliver real benefits in sonar and high power applications.”

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