Sealing Electrical Connectors with ceramic to metal seals
When engineers design a seal for feedthroughs and other electrical connectors electrical connectors, four general classes of material are evaluated. At the low end, a simple epoxy or glue may suffice. Alternatively, a mechanical seal with an elastomer o-ring can provide a somewhat more robust solution. For more demanding applications, glass seals connectors are effective in preventing leakage during severe changes in temperature, pressure and humidity.
The highest performance electrical seal systems employ ceramics for exceptional resistance to thermal and mechanical shock, as well as corrosion. However, the superior performance of ceramic versus glass comes at a cost. The ceramic material is typically more expensive than glass and ceramic-to-metal seals require more sophisticated engineering and more complex manufacturing processes.
Therefore, the Alberox Products business of Morgan Technical Ceramics (MTC), a world leader in the manufacture of ceramic-to-metal assemblies, recommends the use of ceramic seals in situations where glass seals fail to meet demanding performance requirements of an application. For example: high resistance to thermal and mechanical shock is necessary for many aerospace applications; exceptional corrosion resistance and biocompatibility is required by medical implant devices; and superior dielectric properties are critical to high voltage and high current laser applications.
Advantages of Ceramic
Ceramic-to-metal seals have a number of properties that allow for a more robust, durable hermetic seal and better electrical insulation than glass-to-metal seals. Alberox Products constructs seals primarily with 95% alumina (AL-500®), 97.6% alumina (AL-300®), and 99.5% alumina (AL-995®), as well as 100% pure sapphire and ruby. The polycrystalline alumina materials, such as AL-995, are favored in applications requiring a good heat sink. Sapphire and ruby are single-crystal formulations used for some medical implants and other high-purity applicati.
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