Can forming, wire and tube drawing all benefit from advanced ceramic solutions throughout the production process.
Seaming rolls, wire dies, guides, and forming tools in alumina, zirconia, and silicon nitride have recorded performances in terms of many thousands of hours, and metres of metal.
By a careful manipulation of microstructure and material selection for metal/ceramic combinations, specific solutions are frequently derived for individual components and application areas.
Thanks to their hardness and surface quality, Technox® 500 ceramics achieve the highest ratings in tool life and tube quality when it comes to tube processing. Technox® 500 ceramics play a key role in trouble-free and cost-efficient production in the following tube processes:
Tube Industry Applications For Advanced Zirconia
Applications within the tube industry call for materials with both good wear resistance and good surface properties, such that the quality of the manufactured product is not compromised by contact with the tooling.
Thanks to its hardness and surface quality, Technox® 500 zirconia achieves the highest ratings in tool life and tube quality when it comes to tube processing. Technox® 500 zirconia play a key role in trouble-free and cost-efficient production in the following tube processes:
Bending and Expanding Aluminised Steel Tubes
Bending and expanding tools made from Technox® 500, are highly resistant to fracture and have a good resistance to cold welding. The extended tool life helps to reduce set up and maintenance costs during the shaping process.
Expanding Copper Tubes
Using Technox® 500 mandrels for expanding copper tubes significantly improves tool life and can lead to a reduction or even the elimination of lubricants.
Technox® 500, together with Silicon Nitride, welding rolls are unaffected by inductive or magnetic fields during longitudinal seam welding of tubes. The use of these ceramics significantly reduces customary roll wear and minimises downtime leading to improved productivity.
Metal Extrusion Dies
A Technox® 500 die insert may cost several times that of a metallic one, however, considering such inserts often last up to 10 times longer than conventional materials, the cost benefit can be shown to be in the favour of Technox® dies. Other advantages include faster production rates, better dimensional stability of the extruded product and better surface finish.
Comparative tests by wire manufacturers have shown that Technox® guides and rolls can outlast a conventional high-speed steel by a factor of >20. Depending on the shape and complexity of the part the price penalty is rarely more than a factor of 4. Consequently the cost benefit analysis is very favourable, without taking account of the effect on machine downtime. Several customers have measured lifetimes in terms of years, not weeks.
Technox® ceramics are up to 5 times stronger than conventional aluminas. They display bending strengths similar to the yield strength of low alloy steels.
With a sub-micron grain size and near-zero porosity, Technox® materials can be finished to display the highest degrees of surface finish, polish, and precision. Surface roughness value less than 0.006µm Ra are attainable.
Unlike the brittle behaviour displayed by conventional alumina materials, Technox® advanced ceramics can withstand severe impacts and mechanical shocks. Their “Transformation Toughening” ability means a Technox® nail can be hammered through a block of wood.
In acid or alkali mediums, Technox® ceramics display excellent resistance to the most hazardous of environments.
Advantages of Technox® Zirconias
- Minimise possible damage to the wire surface during drawing
- Assurance of wire surface quality due to the improved sliding characteristics of ceramic materials
- Improved production reliability, especially for thin wires due to the reduced adhesion between wire and pulley
- Reduced abrasion leading to improved product quality and increased tool and die life