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Something like Ceramic

  1. Mar 7, 2004 #1
    I need ceramic for a very large electrical project. The problem I have is weight. I would like to find a material with all the properties of ceramic (electrical isolation, temperature insulation, armourment, ability to design for any shape), but it needs to be a lot lighter.

    I thought there might be some types of plactics or fiberglas that I could use, but I've no idea.

    Price won't be a problem. The material is needed. Anyone with ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2004 #2
    Carbon Fiber

  4. Mar 22, 2004 #3
    Last time I checked, CF was an electrical conductor not an insulator.

    CF's got some great properties - some that exceed ceramic. But, insulation is my primary need. :)
  5. Mar 25, 2004 #4


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    Aerogel if it can take the heat.

    How about a glass microsphere filled ceramic? It might lose a little compressive strength along with its weight loss but should otherwise retain electrical and thermal properties.

    What temperature range are we talking about? I believe some of the Ren plastics can handle injection molding stress and temps. They list a casting resin here that goes to 408F for a 264psi deflection test:
    And here's a laminating resin that's listed as 460F:

  6. Mar 25, 2004 #5


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    I remember testing the optical properties of some plastics that were supposed to have good thermal and mechanical properties. They were:

    Lexan - reinforced with glass fibers
    Ultem - as above
    Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

    Some of them had deformation issues. They would deform long before melting.

  7. Apr 1, 2004 #6


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    Then perhaps a thermoset, rather than a thermoplastic polymer would be in order. Something like Bakelite?
  8. Apr 5, 2004 #7


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    Bakelite is very useful, but very toxic when you machine it. Be careful. I used it for a device once. I was lucky, I just drew up what I wanted and told some pros to make it.

  9. Apr 25, 2004 #8
    Where can I find chemicals for Bakelite? From what I've searched, it seems to be somewhat like fiberglas? I haven't found any detailed information about it - links anyone?
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