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The philosophy of this laboratory is to confront the most serious problems of today's ceramics industry and to contribute to the improvement of the status of ceramic materials through solutions. In order to make this possible, it is necessary to completely change the viewpoint. We have developed various new evaluation methods, and based on this, we are conducting research from a new perspective.

Ceramics are producted by forming a raw material powder into a desired shape and firing it at a high temperature. The biggest problem today in ceramics is the low reliability of strength.

The cause is few but large (several tens of microns) defect that has entered the manufacturing process. This large defect is considered to dominate the strength. This has been imagined by everyone who handles ceramics, but no one has ever confirmed this accurately. In order to evaluate from a new point of view, we have developed an evaluation method (observation method) that is different from the conventional method, and we are observing the powder compact of ceramics and the inside of ceramics to quantitatively investigate defective factors (defects).

In the powder compact, it is impregnated with a liquid having a refractive index close to that of the particles to make it transparent. As a result, various structural defects in the sample that have never been known can be easily examined. The powder compact is much more heterogeneous than expected. Similarly, when ceramics are thinned, light can be transmitted. Thereby, various new information can be obtained by examining the internal structure with a microscope. If the light passes, infrared light or X-ray CT may be used as the light source.

Information on defective factors obtained in this way is fed back to the manufacturing process, and the relationship between the manufacturing process and the occurrence of defective factors is linked more systematically. A major goal of our research is to systematize the ceramic manufacturing process from technology to technology, and from technology to science, and take it to the next level of ceramic structural design.

Satoshi Tanaka