Freezing technology at DoCeram
November 1999 | Witte: High-performance ceramics held with Ice-Vice
In prototype and series production, forever higher demands in quality
are made in the materials used. Metals, plastics or glass cannot
withstand these demands, such as for example heat resistance or wear
In many product areas, ceramic materials therefore gain more and more importance.
automobile, food, and chemical industry as well as textile machines and
laser systems are only some examples for which ceramics parts are used
and that have a positive influence on their functioning.
High-performance ceramics are extremely hard, durable, heat resistant
and therefore last longer in their daily use compared to any other
Do Ceram a company from Dortmund (Germany) that
specialises in the production of high tech ceramic products for
industry makes prototypes for small series production as well as for
single one off products for special uses at high temperatures,
electronics or in welding.
At Do Ceram, prototypes were tried and
tested until ready for use in production. At the High End plant small
and middle series with small tolerances and high precision can be
manufactured. To be able to produce at a bigger scale, Do Ceram built a
production line in China. Consequently, an affordable complete solution
could be developed even for the most unusual wishes expressed by a
In high temperature ovens, the raw unbaked forms are transformed into high-performance ceramics.
performance Ceramic is however only the final material, with it’s
positive qualities such as durability, heat resistance, consistent
acidity and strength that can only be achieved by a costly treatment.
Different ceramics are used for different areas according to the use
that is required with the respective qualities. Mechanical ceramic,
light ceramic and high-performance ceramics can all be found at Do
During the pressing of the raw material into the raw moulds
and milling to the final dimensions, the raw moulds already have their
final size and contour. These sensitive raw moulds must be treated with
utmost caution since the raw material is extremely brittle and breaks
easily. Any mistakes in handling will show up later and can make the
part useless. It is the subsequent sinterung that gives the material
it’s final qualities. During this process, the material condenses; the
prefabricated part shrinks by 18-20 percent and any scratches or marks
will show more evidently. In the worst case are cracks that come to the
fore after sintering, and are caused mainly by the clamping process and
make the workpiece worthless.
The clamping method is crucial
clamp this raw soft chalk like ceramic material, and to avoid any
damage, Do Ceram have been successfuly using the Ice-Vice clamping
system from the Witte company in Bleckede (Germany) for the past one
and a half years.The parts are placed on a chuck sprayed with water and
frozen to the chuck, which is kept at –10C°.
Pressure points or
any other damage is reduced to a minimum “ since we use Ice-Vice
clamping the amount of rejects has been greatly reduced. As Ice-Vice
uses very little force on the ceramic material”, explains company
manager Klaus Wölk, who has experience with many other clamping
methods. Considering that any damage caused by clamping can only be
seen after sintering, Do Ceram is pleased to have found the best way to
clamp their material.