ceramics(was RE: Forged pistons)

Walker Benjamin C1C CS20 C04Benjamin.Walker@USAFA.edu
Wed, 13 Aug 2003 09:00:45 -0500

> Well, the advantage of ceramic materials would be that they have a very
> very
> low thermal coefficient of expansion; therefore, you could run very very
> tight
> tolerances and theoretically not have to use any lubrication

Yes I've seen a couple of demonstrations as to the "abilities" if you will
of ceramics.  Like the one where they have the ceramic cube sitting in the
1000 degree oven, take it out and in less than a minute you can hold it in
your hand.  But if I'm not mistaken, these ceramics are expensive and in my
mind that would be one reason why you'd not use them from a mass production
standpoint.  Another might be because of their brittleness (is that a
word?).  Strong ceramics are oftentimes very similar to the way strong
metals are--they are very brittle.

I'd say in the next 20-30 years though, we may see a significant leap in the
way the world uses ceramics--most likely with respect to the automotive
industry.  Aren't they already in use on some braking systems?

03 Nissan Spec V
95 Mitsubishi GSX