I’ve known for some time that glass–ceramic products can be machined, but I actually have never seen it done, so seeing that process and what tools have to be used, what depth of cuts are possible, etc., is what interested me in the above video that Morgan Technical Ceramics recently put online. (Be patient; the juiciest details are in the second half of the under-four-minute video.)
MTC has been promoting its advanced machining capabilities using Corning Macor glass-ceramic, a product the company touts for its mechanical strength as well as its “high dielectric strength, electrical resistivity and ability to withstand high temperature while providing tight tolerance capability.”
Some of the applications mentioned by MTC for machined Macor are ultrahigh or constant vacuum environments, aerospace and nuclear applications, high-heat electrical cutting operations. A number of health equipment-related uses are also mentioned, such as “complex ceramic assemblies for surgical tools, medical instrumentation, and therapeutic and diagnostic equipment.”
Back to the machining of the glass–ceramic, without the use of diamond cutting tools, MTC says it can deliver tolerances +/- 0.0005 inches. The company also says it can machine the Macor to a surface finish of less than 20 micron inches and polished to a smoothness of 0.5 micron inches-roughness average.