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Morgan confirms ceramic components deal

Morgan Technical Ceramics has signed an agreement with a leading international provider of automotive mechatronic drive and pump solutions to supply ceramic components for hybrid and electric vehicles. The pumps will be used in a new hybrid vehicle being designed by a major vehicle manufacturer, which is scheduled for launch in 2011.

Morgan Technical Ceramics is providing ceramic components for three water cooling pumps that will be used in each vehicle to cool the high energy battery, the cabin heater and the power electronics loop that drives the vehicle.

Ceramic has exceptional mechanical and chemical properties and is extremely hard wearing. As a result, it gives excellent performance in harsh environments where aggressive glycol coolants are used and has a much longer life than alternative materials like stainless steel. This makes it ideal for the pumps that are designed to operate continuously, whether the vehicle is running or recharging.

High grade alumina ceramic also has excellent thermal stability through a wide range of temperatures and it is 2.5 times lighter than steel, resulting in additional energy efficiency benefits.

Ceramic components are quiet in operation over extended periods due to their wear-resistance. This is particularly important in hybrid and electric vehicles where engines are quiet and minor noises are noticeable. In contrast, wearing of steel shafts is more likely to result in pits and grooves in the shafts, causing vibration and noise.

Morgan Technical Ceramics is a single source supplier of the precision ground alumina shafts and bearings. It was selected for the project because of its expertise with precision ceramic components for specialist pump applications and its ability to manufacture ceramic to extremely tight tolerances.

The company was also an essential development partner in the design process, providing consultation on material specifications, finishing requirements and technical features of the shafts and bearings. Its technical support was key to solving the design challenges associated with the pumps’ small diameter shafts and bearings.

“We are delighted to win this contract and that our components are being used in next generation vehicles, helping to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions,” said Chris Paine, applications engineer at Morgan Technical Ceramics. “The pump containing our ceramic components has gone through a rigorous trial and testing process and we are pleased that it has passed the Production Part Approval Process used by many automotive companies to qualify their component and process service suppliers. Now more customers in automotive markets can realize the benefits of using ceramic.”

23 March 2011


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