Understanding High-Temperature Ceramic Tubes

High-temperature ceramic tubes are an engineering marvel.They’re typically used in specific production processes that require a hardy material that can withstand materials that would degrade or even destroy tubing made from a more conventional material.

In the ceramics industry, high-temperature ceramic tubing is an important component of many varieties of high-stress processes. We'd like to break down why they're vital, who uses them, the most common types, and who produces them.

How Are Tubes Used in High-Temperature Manufacturing?

Tubing of any variety is important anytime you need a channel for material to travel through, be it the product you’re manufacturing,an energy source, or your wiring. However, most conventional materials are simply not durable enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of many of these high-stress industrial environments.

That’s exactly where ceramics excel. High-temperature ceramic has many beneficial properties that make it a great resource to industrial manufacturing.

·      Ceramic is one of the hardest materials on the planet. This property allows them to withstand great concussive forces. The irinherent hardness also makes them resistant to abrasive materials, making them a great channel for coarse materials to pass through.

·      Ceramic tubing is naturally resistant to thermal shock (due to its low thermal conductivity). Have you ever poured a hot liquid into a glass, only to have it shatter from the sudden temperature change? That effect is due to the sudden expansion of the glass, which compromises its integrity. Thermal shock can occur just as easily in manufacturing and the last thing you want is for your tubing to crack or shatter under this phenomenon.Ceramic material does not expand or contract like most materials.

·      Ceramic materials are non-conductive, which means that electricity does not pass through them. In cases where you must channel electrical wiring, a ceramic encasement will mean none of that electricity will pass through the wiring and go where it’s not supposed to. Ceramic tubing, in the event of an electrical malfunction, can be the only thing between an operator and electrocution.

What Industries Use Ceramic Tubes?

Petrochemical industrial plant with ceramic tubing.

Many industries benefit from the use of ceramic tubing dueto its diverse yet specific set of properties.

Electronics /Electrical Engineering: ceramic’s lack of electrical conductivity (due to its high dielectric strength) makes it a useful tool in anything electrical.

Petrochemical: ceramic’s resistant to high-temperature processes are useful in the petrochemical industry, where temperature-resistance is a necessity.

Foundries, Furnaces & Kilns: there are many reasons why you would need to use a furnace or kiln, from laboratory work to metallurgy. Ceramic tubing is a must in any industry that uses both furnaces or kilns in their processes due to its temperature insulation.

Thermocouple Manufacturing: thermocouples made of ceramic are highly resistant tohigh-temperatures, which gives them a higher degree of longevity as well as a higher temperature application.

Water Transport:many fields require the transport of water and even the municipal water that enters your home can be transported through ceramic piping. Ceramic's natural ability to withstand both thermal shock and compressive forces makes it a great material for underground piping.

Many other industries depend on ceramic tubing. It's a versatile and prevalent resource that, in many ways, keeps manufacturing running all over the world.

Types of High-Temperature Ceramic Tubing for Furnaces

There are two primary types of high-temperature ceramic tubing uses in furnace applications. However, there are many other subtypes,which have different ratios of materials, which give them different performances. Let's discuss the two major categories.

High-Purity Ceramic Tube

Typically containing at least 99% of either zirconia or alumina, high-purity ceramic tubing is just that; it’s almost total purity bolsters the inherent property of ceramic. Due to its excellent light-transmitting properties and high-temperature resistance this tubing is especially useful in a sodium lamp application, which can be used as a heat source or a light source.

Common Ceramic Tube

Common ceramic tubing is often 90% porcelain with some proportion of talc added. They are most commonly used in furnace applications.While not as high-functioning as a high-purity ceramic tube, they are still useful in furnaces and kilns due to their high degree of temperature resistance.

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