Alumina Oxide: It’s What Makes Us Stronger

Alumina ceramic (also known as Aluminum Oxide or Al2O3 ) is the backbone of our wear-resistant ceramic lining services. When using alumina ceramic lining, material processing equipment life can be extended by as much as 20:1 on material processing systems such as piping, chutes, cyclones, overflow underflow boxes, distributors, head chutes, load-outs, feeders, etc. 

But what exactly is this mysterious super-substance? Well, as it turns out, it is not so mysterious after all.

Where It Comes From

Alumina oxide is a chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen. It is the most commonly occurring chemical in the aluminum oxide group and can be found naturally in its crystalline form as the mineral corundum.

Rubies and sapphires are two of the more well-known forms of corundum, as they are “gem-quality.” Their defining colors are caused by impurities and traces of other elements mixing with the alumina oxide.

Alumina is also the component responsible for metallic aluminum’s resistance to weathering.

The current world production of alumina oxide is approximately 141 million tonnes. Over 90% of that tonnage is put towards the production of aluminum. The remainder is labeled “specialty alumina” and is used in a vast array of applications, like refractories, industrial/non-industrial ceramics, polishing, and abrasive applications. 

Alumina oxide in its naturally occurring form

Physical Properties of Alumina Oxide

When alumina oxide is in its solid, non-powdered form, its physical properties are as follows:

  • Highly durable
  • Insoluble in water
  • Low dielectric constant
  • Good electrical insulation
  • High thermal conductivity
  • Excellent wear-resistance
  • Excellent corrosion resistance

Alumina oxide’s physical properties make it a highly sought, highly versatile compound that is amazing for creating and maintaining a variety of durable materials and products.

Use of Alumina Oxide in Common Items

With the information provided so far, it should be no surprise as to just how commonly alumina oxide is used in our day-to-day lives. You have to look no further than your own home to find examples of its many uses. Alumina can be found in glass, paint, sunscreen, and occasionally in certain cosmetics.

In the medical industry, it is the preferred material for bionic implants, tissue reinforcements, dental crowns, and more. This is because of its hardness, bio-inertness, and chemical properties. Alumina is also used in various pieces of lab equipment and labware.

A few more products that alumina oxide is found in are:

  • Sandpaper
  • Body armor
  • Billiards “chalk”
  • Hip replacements
  • Some bicycle rims
  • Automotive sensors
  • Countless other products
Piping that could be reinforced with the help of alumina oxide ceramic

Use of Alumina Oxide in Manufacturing

As mentioned in the introduction, alumina can be used to create and/or fortify a large variety of manufacturing products. These products range from insulating washers and bushings all the way to semiconductor components and aerospace parts. It is also commonly used as a far less expensive abrasive alternative to industrial diamond.

In the arms industry, alumina is used to enhance vehicle and aircraft armor as well as help in creating bulletproof windows and ballistics. 

Alumina ceramic is frequently used for piping components such as elbows, tees, straight pipes, hydro cyclones, reducers, nozzles, and valves. Other industrial applications include machining tools, cutting tools, thermocouple sheaths, wear-resistant pump impellers, and baffle plates.

Why We Use It

Alumina oxide, in its naturally occurring form, ranks as a nine on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. That is just one level below diamond (solid carbon), which sits on top at a ten on the Mohs scale. That’s the kind of strength, durability, and toughness you can rely on when you choose to work with Ceramic Technology, Inc.

We excel at working and recommending ceramic redesigns, utilizing ceramic alumina components such as the CTI-X7® Industrial Ceramic Lining Process Equipment. Our X-7® Ceramic Standard has made marked improvements across the North American Continent in replacing rubber, AR, chromium carbide liners in piping, and chute distribution systems with our highly durable alumina ceramic.

A piece of ceramic tech mineral processing equipment

If you are interested in learning more, head on over to our main page for additional information. You can also give us a call at (800) 437-1142 or send an email to [email protected].

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