About Shapal Hi-M Soft™ Aluminum Nitride Ceramic

Shapal Hi-M Soft™ is a hybrid type of machinable Aluminum Nitride ceramic that offers high mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. By combining Aluminum Nitride with Boron Nitride, Tokuyama has created a ceramic that is easily machined into complex shapes while still keeping many of the advantages of traditional Aluminum Nitride. It features excellent machinability, high thermal conductivity and excellent mechanical strength which makes it suitable for a broad range applications.

Precision Ceramics is a Tokuyama authorized distributor of Shapal Hi-M soft and has more experience with this material than any other company in the world. We can supply Shapal in blocks, bars, rods, plates, etc. or custom machined parts from our facility that has been optimized for high tolerance ceramic production.

Maximum Shapal Size: Shapal Hi-M Soft is a hot-pressed material available in a variety of billet sizes; the largest being approximately 12″ x 12″ x 3.25″ (305mm x 305mm x 84mm). Once in slab form it is cut into smaller blocks and machined into into bars, tubes, disks or other custom designs with very tight tolerances.

Shapal Hi-M Soft Info Sheet (PDF)

Buy Shapal Machinable Aluminum Nitride

Shapal Hi-M Soft Properties

  • Can be machined by a broad range of methods such as drilling, turning, milling to form complex shapes with high precision
  • Excellent sealing ability to vacuum
  • Approximately five times as much thermal conductivity as that of alumina (Aluminium Oxide)
  • High mechanical strength & bending strength of 30kg/mm² is comparable to that of Alumina
  • Excellent electric insulation
  • Low thermal expansion
  • Low dielectric loss

Mechanical Properties


Thermal Properties


Electrical Properties



  • Electronic components where electrical insulation and heat dissipation are required
  • Components where low dielectric constant and dissipation factor are required
  • Fixture parts where a low coefficient of thermal expansion is required
  • Vacuum components
  • Components where a low coefficient of thermal expansion required
  • Heat sinks
  • Crucibles for vacuum deposition
  • Special refractory parts such as protective tubes

Shapal Hi-M Soft vs Macor Machinable Glass Ceramic

Shapal Hi-M Soft and Macor glass ceramic are often compared because they both are machinable ceramics, however, both of these materials have significantly different mechanical and thermal properties. Factors to consider when choosing between Macor and Shapal:

  • Thermal Conductivity
    • Shapal Hi-M is a thermal conductor at 90 W/(m K), Macor is a thermal insulator with a thermal conductivity of 1.46 W/(m K)
  • Thermal Cycle
    • Shapal is not prone to suffering from thermal shock failures while Macor is vulnerable to thermal shock – if the parts have rapid heat up and cool down cycles then Shapal is a better option.
  • Maximum Temperature
    • Shapal has a much higher maximum use temperature of 1900C (in an inert atmosphere) and 1000C (in air).
  • Strength
    • Shapal offers better bending strength (300 vs 94 MPa) as well as better compressive strength ( 1200 vs 345 MPa) when compared with Macor.
  • Costs
    • Macor is a cheaper material that Shapal Hi-M Soft, if it can be used instead of Shapal the user will typically see significant cost reductions.

Shapal Hi-M Soft vs Pure Aluminum Nitride

Pure Aluminum Nitride is often the material of choice for high thermal conductivity applications, however, because it is such a hard material it is often costly to produce in small quantities or non-standard sizes. Shapal Hi-M soft is a machinable Aluminum Nitride/Boron Nitride composite material that can be machined into incredibly tight tolerances and complicated shapes while still providing excellent thermal conductivity.

Custom Shapal Hi-M Soft Machining

Precision Ceramics is your Shapal machining specialist for your technical ceramic prototyping & manufacturing needs; we are always happy to use our many years of advanced ceramics experience to provide advice on materials, design, and application. If you are looking for a supplier of Shapal Hi-M Soft Machinable Aluminum Nitride components, or would just like to buy Shapal plates, rods, bars, or tubes please contact us and one of our experts will be happy to assist you.