Machines and equipment in chemical and pharmaceutical process engineering are often exposed to high stresses caused by temperature, pressure, corrosion and abrasion. In such cases, ceramic materials on oxide and non-oxide basis are often a suitable alternative for the designers. In this connection, an exact knowledge of the application conditions is crucial for selection of the right material.
The quality of the control of chemical reactions is crucial factor for the efficient production of chemical products. In such processes, those equipment components in contact with the educts and products often have to meet high requirements in respect of their corrosion, thermal and thermomechanical resistance. In applications with extreme stresses, often only ceramic materials are able to achieve acceptable service lifetimes to ensure the economically profitable operation of such a reactor. Because of its excellent thermal and chemical stability, boron nitride ceramics are traditionally used as parts of high-temperature equipment.
A key advantage of material separation by means of membrane separation processes is that thermal process stages are not necessary, so consequently an energy-efficient separation system can be realized. Membranes made of high-grade ceramic materials have high mechanical resilience and high resistance to abrasion when exposed to solvents as well as acids and alkaline solutions even with very high concentrations. Ceramic filters are not only proven equipment components in the above-mentioned industry sectors, they are also used for cleaning waste water of different kinds and to recover recyclable waste in closed circuit processes.
Pumps and fittings used in the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries generally have to meet high requirements with regard to the resilience of those equipment components in contact with the product when exposed to chemicals, temperature and pressure. In many applications, for cost-efficient operation, the use of oxide and non-oxide ceramic components such as doped Zirconia (ZrO2), Al2O3-ZrO2 mixed ceramics, Silicon Carbide (SiC) or Si3N4 is often the ultima ratio.