Research Project Summary Information
Commercialization of High Quality, Low Cost Ceramic Cutting Tools for Paper Plastic & Wood Industies(ST10642)
RocCera, LLC is an advanced structural ceramic company. Currently, paper, plastic and wood industries use inexpensive high-strength steel cutting tools for slitting, perforating and milling. However, their tools have poor wear-resistance, corrosion, short lifetime, low cutting speeds and high scrap rate. These industries have been shifting toward carbide cutting tools, which cost 35% more than steel tools, but have better properties. Ceramic tools offer superior properties compared to carbide tools, but they are not widely used in these industries due to high initial cost and a lack of industry experience. The MAT firing can control the ceramic gain structure, allowing for less expensive raw materials.
The project demonstrated and commercialized specialized ceramic cutting tools for the plastic, paper and wood industries. The ceramic tools have been successfully used in initial wood and plastic cutting tests. The proprietary tool compositions were tested on a variety of products so that the Contractor could recommend the correct tool for different applications. The project demonstrated the cost and energy savings of using ceramic tools over time, although their initial cost is higher than that for the current tools.
The ceramic cutting tools will provide an energy savings of 60-90% using MAT sintering ceramics. Retrofitting three kilns will save 225,000 kWh/yr or some $30,000/yr ($0.15/kWh). Using the ceramic cutting tools will decrease friction and provide greater depth of cut, reduce downtime and scrap. Because the ceramic tools can be resharpened, there will be less need for the manufacture of new tools, ultimately reducing landfill.
NYSERDA co-funding enabled a start-up company to develop a state-of-the-art technology such as microwave sintering of oxide-based ceramics, as well as a line of ceramic cutting tools that did not exist before. RocCera successfully microwave-sintered four different ceramic compositions that will be used to produce ceramic cutting tools for carving wood, processing plastic, graphite and metals. Many of these tools are being field tested in several locations. RocCera received positive feedback from current and potential customers. RocCera had plans to start selling these tools in early 2011.
This microwave sintering technology will also be beneficial in processing RocCera’s other structural ceramic components that it routinely manufactures for other wear-related applications. It was demonstrated that approximately 80% energy can be saved by adopting microwave sintering technology and processing time can be improved 75-85%.
771 Elmgrove Rd
Rochester, NY 14624
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr