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Kyocera develops gold fine ceramics closely resemble 18-K

Jul '08
Kyocera Corporation is pleased to announce that it has developed a new fine ceramic with a color that closely resembles 18-karat gold. The material has been created by raising the brightness level approximately 5% (approx. 3.6 points) above previous gold ceramic products. It is a beautiful reflection of the materials development and manufacturing technologies that Kyocera has accumulated in its five decades of R&D in fine ceramics.

The new gold fine ceramic is a sophisticated addition to 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 elegant 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 – one of 18 colored fine ceramics provided by Kyocera – while retaining the material's outstanding hardness. This made it possible to more closely recreate the texture and color of 18-karat gold.

• Features of the new material

1) Replicating the elegant color of 18-karat gold

In developing the new gold fine ceramic, Kyocera added a substance to the titanium nitride – 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.

2) Texture and a variety of features unique to fine ceramics

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 ten 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 beautiful 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.

Comparison between 18-karat gold and the new gold ceramic

New gold ceramic
Specific gravity (weight): 5.7
Hardness (Vickers hardness): 10.6

18-karat gold
Specific gravity (weight): 19.0
Hardness (Vickers hardness): 1 – 2

• Development background

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