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Kyocera Corp. has developed a new fine ceramic with a color that closely resembles 18-karat gold. The material was created by raising the brightness level approximately 5% (approximately 3.6 points) above previous gold ceramic products. The new gold fine ceramic joins Kyocera’s lineup of colored ceramics that are used as decorative materials for watches, mobile phones and other premium accessories. The company will pursue upscale applications for the gold material in new markets worldwide.
The three inherent attributes of color are luminosity, hue and saturation. Luminosity refers to the visually perceived brightness or darkness of a color as a percentage. In developing the new gold fine ceramic material, Kyocera increased the luminosity of its previous gold fine ceramic while retaining the material’s outstanding hardness, which made it possible to more closely recreate the texture and color of 18-karat gold.
In developing the new gold fine ceramic, Kyocera added a substance to the titanium nitride that is the main component of the gold fine ceramic to increase its luminosity. To minimize the reduction in hardness resulting from this additive, Kyocera found the optimum rate of addition by balancing the brightness with the variations in the property. This allowed the luminosity of the new material to be about 5% (3.6 points) higher than that of the previous gold ceramic while achieving an elegant, sophisticated texture corresponding to that of gold and other precious metals.
After being processed into components, the price of the new gold ceramic is about one-twentieth to one-twenty-fifth that of generally available 18-karat gold. In addition, its hardness is five to 10 times higher than that of gold, resulting in superior scratch resistance. It is also lightweight, with a specific gravity less than one-third that of 18-karat gold. Apart from being an alternative to gold, the new gold fine ceramic can be used in a wider range of applications while retaining its appearance and texture for a longer period, thanks to its outstanding durability.
The quality of this new material makes it appropriate for decorative parts as well as jewelry. Kyocera will target a wider variety of products to expand the applications for fine ceramics, which to date have been used for the keypad buttons of premium mobile phones, exterior parts in digital cameras, wristwatch bands and bodies, and jewelry.
Visit www.kyocera.com for additional details.