Ceramics, Wear Compounds and Adhesives – Myths, Science or Facts?


Niel Lourens, Moffatt Supply & Specialties

Today there are thousands of materials available that are presented as wear resistant materials. These include steel, rubber, polyurethane and ceramics. In each of these groups there are hundreds of different materials, all with different attributes and properties. This paper concentrates on the ceramics group and look at some applications to determine if there is a way to compare different materials in different applications. Ceramics is a broad term that includes materials used in electronics, heat insulation, space exploration and wear protection.  This paper looks at ceramics used for wear protection, ceramic wear compounds and adhesives used to adhere the ceramics to the substrate. Only a small amount of products from a few suppliers were tested, but the results show the general trends expected. There are many myths around ceramic tiles, wear compounds and adhesives regarding the effectiveness of these compounds in different applications.  Some of these myths are addressed. Comparisons were made using standardized test methods to compare the wear characteristics of the different materials, as well as the adhesive strengths of some of the adhesives used. The test methods used will be described in detail. This is an attempt to ad science to the comparison of different wear materials. Through the standardized test methods, it showed that some ceramic tiles have better resistance against wear than some wear resistant epoxies, and that wear resistant epoxies are not always usable as adhesives. This paper does not attempt to determine the best brand available, but merely try to show that certain materials are better suited for the applications they were designed for, than others.