Super Ceramic molding

I would like to try to make a peice of jewelry from a super hard / tough material. Can I just buy silicon Carbide or Aluminum Oxide
abrasive powder; mix it with something and cast it under pressure? Is it that simple? Do you mix it with water to a slurry and then cast it/ fire it? I guess I'm probably greatly underestimating the difficulties, but the goal is to make a pendant that is close grained enough to take a good finish (polished) and tough enough not to break if dropped.
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pykrete. (kidding) What's the point of a weaker binder?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You can slip cast and fire alumina. - easier said than done. Once you determine how to make a good casting slip from the proper alumina powder, you'll have to fire it at >1500 C (most likely) Machining it to a mirror polish is done - but not usually at home.
silicon carbide is formed, fired and polished to a mirror finish all the time - but you can forget playing with that stuff. you'll need special kilns etc......
How about a strong porcelain? It's cheap, easier to slip cast and some some formulations are exceptionally strong - like the formulations used for electrical insulators. Many bodies will also fire at reasonable temperatures.
Tough and hard are not the same thing - the one thing most ceramics do very well is break. Tough ceramics - like some of the zirconia materials PSZ, TTZ ect... are very tough -" they won't break when dropped", but they are not nearly as hard as silicon carbide or alumina.
What properties are you looking for? Does it need to be hard, tough, abrasion resistant? Under what conditions? Chances are you find the best of all properties in one material - but you'll probably find something that's good enough to meet your needs.
Good luck, Gregg
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