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CNC Machined Ceramics

Ceramic CNC Machining, CNC Ceramic Machining Drilling, Shaping, Polishing

Ceramic CNC Machining Services
Valley Design is a provider of high precision ceramic CNC machining services focusing on high quality, on demand 4 & 5 Axis CNC machining on all hard materials. Valley CNC machines ceramic materials such as Aluminum Nitride, 96% Alumina, 99.6% Alumina and Macor from our extensive inventory, or can modify customer supplied ceramic components. From custom prototyping and Research & Development to full production manufacturing, Valley’s expertise in ceramic CNC machining is second to none.

Founded in 1975, Valley Design is the world standard for excellence, quality and precision and is an industry leader in advanced materials processing. Ceramic materials of all types and hardness can be machined to the highest accuracy and repeatability with the tightest tolerances. Advanced surface roughness, finishes, flatness are achievable utilizing advanced 4 – 5 axis CNC machining and grinding equipment. Precision CMM & 3D surface profile metrology assures outstanding quality and product performance.

Ceramic Materials CNC Machined:

  • 96% – 99.8% Alumina (Al203)
  • Aluminum Nitride (AlN)
  • Silicon Carbide (SiC)
  • Glass Ceramics
  • Macor
  • Porous Ceramics
  • Ferrites
  • Crystals Exotic
  • Technical Ceramics
  • ULE Glass Ceramic
  • Steatite
  • Silicon Nitride (SiN)
  • Black Ceramic
  • Many other hard materials


Utilizing 3 + 2 simultaneous 5 Axis CNC precision machining, complex components and assemblies can be fabricated. Features are achieved with through spindle cooling, vacuum hold down and advanced, non-contact laser-based tool settings.


  • Thru-holes
  • Pockets
  • Slots
  • Channels
  • Steps
  • Radii
  • Domed profiles
  • Grooves
  • Trenches
  • Textures
  • Slits


  • Size range from as small as .127mm (.005” sq.) to over 450mm (17.75” diameter)
  • Accuracy to micron levels ± .5um (microns)
  • Ultra-thin thickness to 10-15um thick
  • Ultra flat to 1/10 wave
  • Concave / Convex surface profiles
  • Ceramic surface roughness ranging from
    • 32u”Ra – 64u”Ra – CNC Machined Finish
    • 25u” Ra – CNC Fine Machined Finish
    • 10-20u”Ra – Standard Lapped Finish
    • 4 – 8u”Ra – Diamond Lapped Finish
    • 2-4u”Ra – Slightly Reflective Finish
    • .5-1u”Ra – Highly Reflective Finish

These various surface finishes are achievable combining CNC machining capabilities with Valley’s comprehensive lapping and polishing expertise.


  • Wafer Chucks
  • Vacuum Chucks
  • Substrates for ESC Electrostatic Chucks
  • Dielectrics and Insulators
  • Submounts
  • Substrates
  • Wafers
  • Shims
  • Spacers
  • Washers
  • Rings


There are numerous advantages in the use of hard materials such as Aluminum Nitride (AIN), Alumina (A1203) Ceramic Sapphire, Silicon Carbide (SIC), over typical metals such as Aluminum Steel and other Alloys.

By choosing to create custom complex components by 5 axis CNC machine you get the benefits of materials that are harder, stronger in compression than most metals. They can be electrically or thermally insolating or conducting.

The ability to withstand harsh and corrosive environments and extreme temperatures are just a few of the multiple myriad of applications when replacing metals with Aluminum Nitride AN, ceramics (Alumina) Sapphire, SIC and other hard materials can mean the difference of a good product with a superior long lasting product.

Alumina Ceramics (Aluminum Oxide, Al203) are the most commonly used technical ceramics due to their general useful properties and performance. Alumina ceramics are commonly subdivided to their content rating commonly ranging from 96% to 99.8%. High purity Alumina enhances wear and corrosion resistance in both general use & also specialized applications where electrical insulation, dielectric strength and low dielectric loss are crucial.

Alumina Ceramics Al203 have very well balanced properties of insulation, thermal conductivity and breaking strength. One of its unique properties is its surface roughness. Having excellent adhesion with thin and thick film metallization is due to its very fine particles. Good smoothness, flatness with less porosity, minimal warpage, bending and undulation make it an excellent choice for many semiconductor chuck applications. Valley Design has been CNC machining and refurbishing Alumina chucks of all types including electrostatic chucks in production volumes for over 25 years. For more info go to


Macor has many characteristics designed from ceramics. Macor can be CNC machined into complex shapes easier than other traditional ceramics such as Alumina ceramic A1203 and Aluminum Nitride.

Macor’s machineability properties are due to its unique microstructure array of Mica Crystals dispersed within Alumina Borosilicate matrix. CNC machining of Macor is more forgiving than most other ceramics, reducing issues such as cracks and chip outs with continuous use at 800 degrees C. The Coefficient of Expansion (CTE) of Macor is similar to most metals and sealing glasses. It is non-wetting, exhibits zero porosity and is extremely dimensionally stable. Macor is an excellent insulator particularly in elevated temperature environments and at high voltages and varied frequencies. Typical applications include ultra high vacuum environments, aerospace, electrical insulators, semiconductor thermal chucks and IC test sockets.