Completed funded project

Ceramic screws made of zirconia for use under high mechanical, corrosive and thermal loads


Steel screw
© Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
The use of classic steel screws is limited
  • Use of classic steel screws is limited
  • Development of ceramic screws
    • Applications: chemical industry, mechanical and plant engineering, aerospace, forming technology, microtechnology, medical technology
    • Advantages of ceramics: high temperature stability, corrosion resistance, non-magnetic, low electrical conductivity, abrasion-resistant
    • BUT: brittleness, creep at high temperature, high friction coefficients


© Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
  • Zirconia screw connections for use:
    • at high temperatures
    • in highly corrosive environments
    • under high mechanical loads
    • for cyclical thermal load (good TCR, low heat capacity)
    • can still be removed even after long periods of standing
  • Post-processing should be avoided
  • CNC manufacturing process
    • suitable for small and medium series
    • processing in green state
  • Superbolt made of ZrO2 ceramic


3d print, screw
© Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
3D-printed ZrO2 screws
  • Successful material development of MgO partially stabilised ZrO2
    • Optimisation of raw material composition, debinding, sintering
    • Material properties comparable to reference material (Z 501)
  • Design: Finite element analysis for M10 thread
    • Development of a design suitable for ceramics that allows a load that is approximately three times higher than a standard DIN thread
  • Prototype production in 3D printing process
    • Necessary strength could not be achieved due to manufacturing reasons
  • Successful prototype production at project partner BCE using green machining
    • 60% higher torsional strength based on ceramic oriented screw design
    • Tightening torque for Superbolt (10-14Nm)

Project Data

Project Duration 01.06.2014 - 30.11.2016
Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM)
Funding Amount 174,500 Euro
Project Partners Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
BCE Special Ceramics GmbH
Project Coordination BCE Special Ceramics GmbH
Project Management at the HTL
Marina Stepanyan