Macor MGC Machinable Glass Ceramics from the Multi-Lab workshops

Application Options for Macor

Application Options for Macor

Macor has a wide range of applications, from small workshops to the aerospace industry. Read on for Multi-Labs guide for more information.

Macor MGC Machinable Glass Ceramic from the Multi-Lab workshops

Macor MGC Machinable Glass Ceramic









Ceramics pose a whole range of challenges as engineering materials. Anyone working in the manufacturing sector has to keep up with the evolving knowledge about this niche technology and its market.

The problem starts from a widespread, albeit flawed, view that ceramics are not stable enough compounds for use as manufacturing components. This view persists even though such materials have found famous applications in the aerospace industries and as components in harsh environments such as deep sea drilling.

The broad class of machinable glass ceramics includes Macor, boron nitride, aluminium silicate and a variety of mica class ceramic composites.

Macor is one material that is easily machined in the most modest of workshops as well as in high-tech research. Manufactured exclusively by US Corporation Corning Inc., it can be machined into complex shapes with standard carbide tools. The tolerance can reach 0.00002 inches.

The real advantage of Macor is that it does not have to be machined when it is “green” and later fired. The firing of ceramics usually alters their shape, so they have to be machined again. The second machining often requires the use of diamond grit bonded tools so that the final shape may achieve the correct tolerance.

Threaded Macor component

Threaded Macor component







This means that the material can be instrumental in reducing production costs for any components, especially in medical applications. It can be used continuously in temperatures up to 800 degrees C and up to a maximum temperature of 1,000 degrees C. It also has a thermal expansion coefficient that is equivalent to that of most sealing glasses and metals.

Boron nitride is another ceramic that can be machined using standard tools. It has a large range of applications in the vacuum, nuclear and electrical industries due to its chemical inertness, high electrical resistance, low dielectric constant and low thermal expansion.

Despite the ceramic’s properties, it is important to choose the correct tools for all types of machining. Although Macor can be machined by standard carbide tools, a softer ceramic that may only be partially fired and not totally dense can become very abrasive on the tool and wear down its cutting edge.

Macor machinable glass ceramic

Macor machinable glass ceramic







It’s also important to remember that ceramics are not magnetic materials, so they need to be firmly clamped or taped to a sub plate during machining rather than held in place by magnets.

For more information on the range of application options for Macor contact a team member or visit our website.  or contact Mr Jules Blain on