Across a diverse range of industries, devices, consumer goods, and mission-critical systems, we rely variously on the electrical (for instance, dielectric, piezoelectric, resistive), optical, and magnetic properties offered by technical ceramics. Advances have been numerous, and this will be reflected by many of the lines offered at Ceramics Expo 2019.
This is a highly competitive part of the ceramics industry, but also one that is experiencing significant growth. If we consider just one sub-sector, ceramic capacitors, we see the upward sales trend being borne out. Recent analysis conducted by BCC Research points to the broad spectrum of end use – aerospace and space exploration, automotive, communications, computers and peripherals, consumer products, defense, industrial, medical, and entertainment. The resultant report (Ceramic Capacitors: Technologies and Opportunities) predicts that the global market for ceramic capacitors should grow from $14.8 billion currently to $30.7 billion by 2023, on the back of a compound annual growth rate of 15.7 per cent – which would be an impressive achievement by any measure.
One of the major international names can see the broad potential. Ceramics Expo exhibitor SCHOTT says: “The Internet of Things promises a breezy existence in which connected devices handle much of our routine activity. Refrigerators will automatically order groceries when shelves are bare, and driverless cars will shuttle us effortlessly from work to school to home. The 5G network that is being built to handle the influx of new, internet-connected devices is faster than what has come before by a factor of 100. It will require robust antenna systems to transmit massive amounts of data.”
SCHOTT POWERAMIC is a family of highly homogeneous and pore-free glass ceramics for use as dielectrics. The POWERAMIC line is comprised of transparent materials that provide the demanding dielectric properties and thermal expansion properties required by the 5G standard’s antenna arrays. POWERAMIC components are also used in other projects such as dielectric antennas for vehicle-to-vehicle communication and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) antennas in aircraft for high-precision navigation during take-off and landing.
Of course, ceramics play a vital part in the wider electronics field, where their special properties, flexibility, and availability make them invaluable. The market is driving forward, and it is enormous. Take semiconductors. John Neuffer, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, points out: “Semiconductors continue to make the world around us smarter and more connected, and a range of budding technologies – artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, among many others – hold tremendous promise for future growth." Global semiconductor sales hit a high-water mark in 2018 of $468.8 billion and total units shipped topped one trillion for the first time. Opportunities like this mean plenty of interest at Ceramics Expo in the contribution that technical ceramic materials can make.
Across the electronics industry, today’s electroceramics consistently provide a mix of unique characteristics that allow for reliable, cost-effective, thermally efficient operation. The main materials provide high strength; excellent heat, wear, and chemical resistance properties; they offer the ability to make components both smaller and lighter, while enabling greater density and precision in circuits; and they can be manufactured with excellent smoothness, flatness, and tight thickness tolerances.
Visitors to Ceramics Expo will relish the chance to discover just how they can exploit all these special properties, by meeting the most respected experts, none more so than global leader and multi-billion-dollar company, Kyocera International. In this one area, among many other markets served, Kyocera has developed a wide range of substrates for power modules, pressure sensor components, ultra-thin ceramics, lead-free piezoelectric elements, thick and thin film substrates, sophisticated high-insulation components, polished and glazed substrates, dielectric resonator parts, high-dielectrics for filter, resonators, and MICs, and much more besides.
“If I asked you to name the most important technologies in our world today, your list would probably include electronics, computing, wireless networks, broadband internet, IoT, satellite communication, automotive collision-avoidance systems, and medical technologies like diagnostic imaging and robotic surgical tools,” comments Mark Wolf, VP fine ceramics at Kyocera International Inc. “These technologies seem very diverse, but they have one thing in common: none of them could exist without electroceramics.”
Reinforcing the strong showing on the exhibit floor, this particular sector also merits its own analysis and discussion during this year’s action-packed, free-to-attend Ceramics Expo Conference. Make sure you are around on Day 2/Track 1 in the morning for our session Exploring Advances in Electroceramics. The session will explore how various end-user industries are developing innovative applications with electroceramics and what is required for further development. Among the topics to be covered will be new dielectric materials for energy storage and fuel cells; the use of magnetic oxides for isolators, circulators, and microwave dielectrics; and the uses of electroceramics in printed circuit boards and RF modules. Panel speakers already confirmed include William Easter (CEO, Semplastics), Rafiqul Islam (CTO, Cactus Materials), and Jon Goldsby (research physicist, NASA).
Ceramics Expo is the leading annual supply chain exhibition and conference for advanced ceramics and glass materials, manufacturing and components. Registration is now open, claim your free pass by clicking here.