Magic — From Space Shuttles to Microscopes
Macor is a high-performance material that demonstrates the importance of machinable glass ceramics in many applications.
It looks like porcelain but has outstanding technical performance and is as versatile as an advanced polymer. is a glass ceramic developed by Corning that can be machined with precision into any complicated shape using standard metalworking tools.
Macor is a special type of machinable glass ceramic that can be used continuously in temperatures up to 1,000 degrees C. Its low thermal conductivity means that it has numerous applications as a high-quality thermal as well as electrical insulating material. There is no porosity in this material and it does not outgas.
However, in contrast with high-temperature advanced polymers, this ceramic will neither creep nor deform. This ceramic is also resistant to infrared, ultraviolet and other electromagnetic radiation.
There are numerous ways of forming. This ceramic is pure white in colour. It can be produced as thick slabs or it may be deposited on a thin metal film, epoxy bonded and brazed. It produces a very tight and strong joint with epoxy and a tight vacuum seal with glass. It can even be worked into standard mechanical joints.
One of the most significant advantages of this ceramic is that it is economic to manufacture and to apply, even in small quantities.
Some of the common applications of include the following.
There have been over 200 uses for in the US space shuttle programme, from retaining rings at hinges, doors and windows to space-borne gamma ray detectors. The material can be worked into a standard mechanical butt joint at the corner of a frame or used as sealing glass.
Macor can be used as a sealing glass in ultra-high-vacuum applications that require a high-performance hermetic seal, and on a smaller scale as a sample holder for a field ion microscope.
It does not deform under radiation and can be used in nuclear science experiments. It can be machined to a one-micron tolerance and used as a reference material for measuring changes in dimensions of other materials in its immediate environment.
This is a material that can be used for nozzles on oxyacetylene welding torches. Any molten particles that may be formed during the welding process do not adhere to the nozzle and reduce its effectiveness.
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