Ceramics for thermomechanical and electrical applications
The team seeks to improve the use properties of certain ceramics, both bulk parts and coatings, through an integrated optimization of their processing steps. Various synthesis methods for ceramic powders are studied, for example: solid state reaction, co-precipitation, sol-gel, and hydrothermal processing. The properties to be improved require the synthesis of micrometric and nanometric powders and the close control of the sintering process in order to obtain materials that have dense, homogeneous microstructures. More recently, the sol-gel process has also been applied to ceramic coatings for mechanical applications.
New ceramics are developed for two kinds of applications: mechanical or thermo-mechanical applications and piezoelectric applications. These ceramics have to be optimized at different scales:
- atomic – developing new chemical compositions and optimizing them,
- nanometric or micrometric – managing porosity and microstructure, and
- final form of ceramic pieces – elaborating new piezoelectric ceramic sensors and actuators.
Current research topics
- Si-C-N polymeric precursors for ceramic films,
- ceramic hard coatings for mechanical applications, using the sol-gel process,
- ceramic foams with controlled porosity,
- graded ceramic-metal composites,
- ceramic coatings on textile fibres,
- piezoelectric oxides with or without lead,
- piezoelectric ceramic/polymer composites,
- piezoelectric fibres with metallic core,
- piezoelectric sensors and actuators.