Nanoe provides ceramic powders for cutting edge industries such as aerospace, luxury or biomedical.
Thus, in order to insure the quality and the homogeneity of ceramic powders, multiple quality control test are exacted. For each order, Nanoe’s quality service samples powder regularly during the batch (one sample every 80kg). Those samples are sintered to obtain press pellet that can be easily tested.
The first step of the quality test is checking the density and the surface condition of the pressed pellet that have previously been numbered.
The second step is checking the quality and the homogeneity of the microstructure. However, a pellet would be too large for the microscope, this is why each pellet is broken up into pieces. When shattered, a piece of each pellet is placed on a crucible and put in a furnace. Then a thermal etching is operated to increase the contrast between grains and make the microstructure analysis possible.
However, the quality service no longer uses regular alumina crucible but a Zetamix tailor made one, more adapted to their needs.The second step is checking the quality and the homogeneity of the microstructure. However, a pellet would be too large for the microscope, this is why each pellet is broken up into pieces. When shattered, a piece of each pellet is placed on a crucible and put in a furnace. Then a thermal etching is operated to increase the contrast between grains and make the microstructure analysis possible.
Indeed, not only Nicolas was looking for a compartmentalized crucible capable of withstanding very hard thermal treatment (400°C.h-1 to 1500 °C), but he also wanted that each compartment was numbered into the ceramic. Thus, Nicolas designed an alumina crucible equipped with 15 numbered compartments.
The advantages provided by this new crucible are undeniable. Unlike regular crucibles, this one neutralizes the risk of mixing up the samples when the crucible is handled. By avoiding any risk of confusion between the pellets, the quality service is improving it’s process and the relevancy of the test. Furthermore, using this crucible is time saving : Nicolas can handle sample more quickly and is liberating from the mental workload of making a mistake.
“ We couldn’t afford to send a batch that doesn’t match with the sample of analysis. It can trigger a loss of confidence from our client and useless disputes. Placing a regular crucible in the furnace without moving the sample can be tricky and Zetamix helped us to solve this problem” said Camille Exare, QSE manager.
|Standard crucible||On demand production||Zetamix|
|Cost||200 €||1000 € (1142$)||12 € (14$)|
|Lead Time||2 weeks||6 weeks||1 week|
|Complexity of Part||Standard part only, only a few sizes available||Simple part only, adaptable size||Unlimited|
Finally, Nanoe benefits daily of the advantages of Zetamix technology. By customizing its tools for powder production, Nanoe is improving its processes and is no longer depending on OEMs or tool manufacturers. This allows important resources savings in terms of negotiating time, money and logistics.