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11. November 2012

New technology for manufacturing backlit ceramic components


The company based in Lauf has recently been developing a procedure for the manufacture of ceramic components with complex backlit molds. A special process submitted for patent protection allows for backlighting of contours including the so-called “lost molds”.

Up to now, fixing the position of the inner or “lost” mold of ceramic components composed of several interlaced molds was not possible without visible connecting webs. When positioning the inner circle of a backlit “O”, for instance, visible shadows occurred. Sembach has now developed a hybrid process technology allowing the manufacture of constantly backlit ceramic components.

The manufacturing process which has been submitted for patent protection moves technical ceramics one step forward towards the variety of shapes that the customer knows from plastics technology. Backlit plastic molds are made by covering translucent casting segments with a lightproof layer and subsequently uncovering the backlit parts by removing them with a laser. In ceramics, such a method could be used only if significantly more powerful laser technology was applied. The sophisticated process of Sembach allows now also for ceramics the creation of constantly backlit molds without visible connections and shadows. According to the test and research results of Sembach, the quality of these molds is in no way inferior to the one of plastic products, while optics and haptic are much more superior.

Sembach envisages a wide range of applications for this hybrid technology in various industries. Whenever materials are being backlit with a high-quality visible appearance, the technology is applicable for the manufacturing of components.

Manufacturing hybrid components is one of the most recent innovations at Sembach. The first hybrid component was successfully tested in 2010. This manufacturing technology which has been submitted for patent protection proves that combining ceramic with non-ceramic materials opens up new markets segments.

Visit Sembach GmbH & Co. KG at Hybridica 2012 on the joint stand of the Expert Group on Ceramic Injection Molding in Hall C1, Stand 655.

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