Our Ceramic Metallization Process
Our ceramic metallization process uses proprietary thick film paints as the base layer on a ceramic substrate. This unique formulation developed and produced entirely in-house enables a hermetic ceramic to metal bond in a brazed assembly.
To prevent oxidation and to improve wettability after the metallization paint is sintered into the ceramic at high temperature, it is plated using either electroless or electrolytic plating or nickel oxide paint. Metallization and nickel thickness is measured using XRF technology to ensure desired thickness specifications are met.
With more than five decades of industry experience, the Elcon team has expertise in a variety of application methods and is capable of metallizing on flat, cylindrical, and complex ceramic bodies, from prototyping through production.
View applications for ceramic metallization, the materials and equipment we use, and more below.
Single crystal sapphire is a high-purity, optically clear form of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) that can be used in many harsh environments. In applications where sapphire needs to be bonded to metal, epoxy or other gluing methods can be used, but brazing is usually a much better option. Unlike gluing, brazing creates a hermetic, high-temperature seal – ideal for harsh or vacuum applications. Due to its purity, bare sapphire will not attach to braze or solder alloys on its own, so an intermediary metal, usually molybdenum/manganese (Mo/Mn), is needed. Our Mo/Mn matrix is specifically made for brazing sapphire and will create a bond that can withstand extreme temperatures (-40°C to 800°C) and provide a hermetic seal down to 10-9 torr. l/sec.
Elcon Precision metallizes and electroplates sapphire lenses, windows, and wafers to prepare them for hermetic brazing into a metal housing. The thick film metallization is applied using various methods including brush, spray, screen-printing, or our dual station robot. In order to preserve the optical properties of the sapphire lens or wafer, we typically only metallize and braze the outer diameter of the part.