Indian scientists and researchers are working round the clock to come up with viable solutions that are solving real-life problems and are helping in nation-building. From healthcare to defence, researchers are contributing to every field. In a recent feat, for the first time, Indian researchers have developed transparent ceramics.
Researchers at the ARCI (International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials) used colloidal processing to make transparent ceramics. The research by Papiya Biswas, Swathi Manivannan, Y. Srinivasa Rao, and Roy Johnson has been published in the journal ‘Materials Chemistry and Physics. The material has potential applications in infantry personal protection systems involving thermal imaging such as face shields, helmets, and goggles. The transparent ceramics developed in India is a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Researchers used the Hot Isostatic Pressing technique
Researchers have produced magnesium aluminate spinel ceramics with colloidal processing followed by the HIP (Hot Isostatic Pressing) technique which involves the simultaneous application of temperature and pressure. Spinel is currently emerging as a transparent ceramic based on the outstanding optical properties of transmission – more than 75 % in the visible and more than 80% in the infrared range. The material has a strength of around 200 megapascals and a hardness of more than 13 Gigapascals.
Hot Isostatic Pressing, is one of the material processing methods in which the material is compressed by applying a high temperature of several hundred to 2000 °C and isostatic pressure of several tens to 200MPa at the same time. Argon is the most commonly used pressure medium.
What are Transparent Ceramics?
The Transparent Ceramic is among the class of advanced material and exhibits unique transparency and splendid mechanical properties. Transparent ceramics are polycrystalline (solids that consist of many small crystals) ceramic materials that exhibit broadband transmittance of light in the visible, mid-wave, and long-wave infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. The transparency of the Ceramics is identical or close to standard glass. The material can be used for thermal imaging applications, especially in harsh service conditions and personal protection systems such as helmets, face shields, and goggles.
Transparent ceramics can also be designed for ultraviolet (UV), Infrared (IR), and Radiofrequency (RF), giving a broad window for diverse applications. The supply of Transparent Ceramics is restricted in supply as they can be used for strategic applications. The research may open doors for India to manufacture the material in huge proportion. As, in the current scenario, India is producing ceramics on a laboratory scale with low transparency.