Thermal Conductivity

Thermal conductivity measures how easily heat is transmitted through a material and in most instances this is used to transfer heat away from a hot area, for example the performance of an LED diminishes if it is not sufficiently cooled, but also needs electrical insulation, hence ceramics are used.

There is a growing specialist market for advanced ceramics use in applications with high thermal conductivity requirements. Oxide ceramics cost less and therefore the most common as the base material but the majority of materials are limited to 26-30 W/M/K, which when compared to the two most common high thermal conductivity metals, copper around 385 W/M/K and aluminium at 150-185 W/M/K – there is a large gap.

Compressive Strength

Materials Ranked by Thermal Conductivity

Aluminium Nitride (AlN) provides the highest thermal conductivity, but the level depends on the grade. Precision Ceramics PCAN 3000 is the highest with 230 W/M/K. The industry standard tends to be 170-180 W/M/K with lesser grades down to 150 W/M/K. Grades of Boron Nitride can offer thermal conductivity at around 120 W/M/K and Shapal Hi M soft at 93 W/M/K.

The management of Thermal conductivity depends on many factors , from operating temperature and applications, to how many different materials are involved with joints causing losses at interfaces, down to passive or active cooling .

Ranked by High Thermal Conductivity

Aluminium Nitride Material Brand PCAN3000

Aluminium Nitride (AlN) – CeramAlum™ PCAN3000

230 [W/mK]
PCAN3000 is one of our enhanced grades of Aluminium Nitride offering all the mechanical performance of PCAN1000 with the added benefit of 230 W/(m.K) thermal conductance.

Aluminium Nitride Material Brand PCAN2000

Aluminium Nitride (AlN) – CeramAlum™ PCAN2000 / 4000

200 [W/mK]
PCAN2000 and PCAN 4000 are both enhanced grades of Aluminium Nitride offering all the mechanical performance of PCAN1000 with the added benefit of 200 W/(m.K) thermal conductance for both grades.

Aluminium Nitride Material Brand PCAN1000

Aluminium Nitride (AlN) – CeramAlum™ PCAN1000

170 [W/mK]
PCAN1000 is our standard high purity aluminium nitride with a thermal conductivity of 170 W/ (m.K). This is the same thermal performance as our substrate material but offers the possibility of larger pieces in length and width and in thicknesses up to 30mm.

Ranked by Low Thermal Conductivity

Macor Parts

Macor® – Machinable Glass Ceramic

1.46 [W/mK]
Macor is a hybrid glass-ceramic with the versatility of a high performance polymer, the machinability of a metal, and the performance of an advanced advanced ceramic. It is fully dense and suitable for UHV applications.

Zirconia CeramaZirc 3YZ Material Brand

Zirconia (ZrO2) - CeramaZirc™ 3YZ

2 [W/mK]
A high purity material that offers high strength, wear resistance, and flexibility far beyond those of most other advanced ceramics.

Zirconia CeramaZirc Ultra Tough Material Brand

Zirconia (ZrO2) - CeramaZirc™ Ultra Tough

3 [W/mK]
CeramaZirc Ultra Tough is an advanced zirconia-based ceramic composite material based on partially stabilized zirconia and alumina platelets.

Related Properties

Maximum Temperature

Advanced ceramics are well known for their heat withstanding properties in which they only start to melt at temperatures around 2000℃. In comparison to more common ceramic materials such as tile or brick, they start to melt at temperatures around 650℃.

Thermal Expansion

Advanced ceramics have generally low coefficients of thermal expansion which is the measure of how much a material expands due to a rise in temperature. When heat is applied to most materials they expand due to their atomic structure, due to ceramics atomic composition they are able to stay stable across a wider range of temperatures.