Ceramic Industry News

Ceradyne Division Acquires New Ceramic Impregnated Dispenser Cathode Technology

July 29, 2010
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Ceradyne, Inc. announced it has acquired intellectual property for producing a controlled porosity ceramic impregnated dispenser cathode using a patented “sintered wire” technology. This intellectual property was acquired from Calabazas Creek Research, which is based in San Mateo, Calif.

Semicon Associates, a division of Ceradyne, Inc., has been producing ceramic impregnated dispenser cathodes for over 55 years using more mature porous tungsten powder technology. The basis of this departure from traditional methodology is intended to result in a significantly longer life with a more controlled electron beam. Semicon will be shipping prototypes of this new cathode to several of its customers for evaluation in the next few months.

“The new sintered wire technology can produce over 10 times the current density and extend life by two to four times when compared to the present state-of-the-art dispenser cathodes,” said Jeffrey Waldal, Ceradyne corporate vice president and president of Semicon Associates. “We look forward to a continued working relationship with Calabazas Creek Research and to playing a pivotal role in advancing microwave tube technology."

The advances in microwave tube performance that this “sintered wire” technology produces is predicated on a “reservoir” of the barium-based ceramic and a controlled distributed porosity. The result is a long life due to the presence of additional barium and a uniform emission even as the cathode ages. These qualities are prime considerations in modern microwave tube design for military and communication applications.

Dispenser cathodes are used in a variety of vacuum electron devices and in inert and reducing atmospheres. The most common end-use applications include military electronic counter measures, satellite and other communication devices, medical devices, and scientific research.

For more information, visit www.ceradyne.com.

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