A technique for every form

Every challenge demands a specific solution with the right material properties and a specific shape that has to be precise to the smallest detail. We choose the right processing technique by looking at the shape, material used and numbers required.

Although Innalox is a specialist in slipcasting we can of course also work in any other conventional technique, such as pressure casting, extrusion, hydraulic pressing and injection moulding. We are also focussing on the development of new production methods, for example 3D printing of technical ceramics.

Green processing keeps lead times short

Ever since the foundation of Innalox, we have been looking for ways to maximise the quality of our technical ceramics while keeping the production process as short as possible. One of the ways we have done this is by specialising in green processing, that is, parts in the unfired 'green' state. In this state, the product is strong enough to handle without damaging it, but soft enough to be processed relatively easily. This phase is referred to as 'green' because in traditional ceramics (clay), unfired products often still contain organic residues such as leaves, roots, etc.

Green processing is faster because the material is softer. It is also better for the environment as the removed material is not fired and no energy is required for that purpose. In addition, the use of diamond tools and cooling water is also minimised.

Traditionally, the 'finishing' of the product is carried out only after sintering in the oven. However, the material is at its hardest in this phase of the production and thus requires a long and expensive finishing process with diamond tools. Green processing does not always eliminate this step, but it does make it much less labour-intensive. Moreover, the overall lead time of ceramic projects is shortened significantly.

Finishing process

Generally, Innalox processes green ceramic with simple geometry using conventional methods such as turning or milling. Complex ceramic products can also be processed with CNC (computer numerically controlled) machining. Naturally, we strictly take into account shrinkage at sintering in the oven during green processing to ensure that we can deliver parts containing a high level of precision. If precision turns out to be insufficient, further processing after sintering always remains an option.