The word ceramic is derived from the Greek word (keramikos). The term covers inorganic non-metallic materials whose formation is due to the action of heat. Up until the 1950s or so, the most important of these were the traditional clays, made into pottery, bricks, tiles and are like, along with cements and glass. Clay based ceramics are described in the article on pottery. A composite material of ceramic and metal is known as cermet. The word ceramic can be an adjective, and can also be used as a noun to refer to a ceramic material, or a product of ceramic manufacture. Ceramics is a singular noun referring to the art of making things out of
materials. The technology of manufacturing and usage of ceramic materials is part of the field of ceramic engineering.
Many ceramic materials are hard, porous and brittle. The study and development of ceramics includes methods to mitigate problems associated with these characteristics, and to accentuate the strengths of the materials as well as to investigate novel applications.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines a ceramic article as “an article having a glazed or unglazed body of crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or of glass, which body is produced from essentially inorganic, non-metallic substances and either is formed from a molten mass which solidifies on cooling, or is formed and simultaneously or subsequently matured by the action of the heat.”
Types of ceramic materials
For convenience ceramic products are usually divided into four sectors, and these are shown below with some examples:
_White wares, including tableware, wall tiles, decorative art objects and sanitary ware
_Technical, is also known as Engineering, Advanced, Special, and in Japan, Fine Ceramics. Such items include tiles used in the Space Shuttle program, gas burner nozzles, ballistic protection, nuclear fuel uranium oxide pellets, bio-medical implants, jet engine turbine blades, and missile nose cones. Frequently the raw materials do not include clays
Examples of ceramic materials
_Barium titan ate (often mixed with strontium titan ate) displays Ferro electricity, meaning that its mechanical, electrical, and thermal responses are coupled to one another and also history-dependent. It is widely used in electromechanical transducers, ceramic capacitors, and data storage elements. Grain boundary conditions can create PTC effects in heating elements.
_Lead zircon ate titan ate is another ferroelectric material.
_Zirconia, which in pure form undergoes many phase changes between room temperature and practical sintering temperatures, can be chemically "stabilized" in several different forms. Its high oxygen ion conductivity recommends it for use in fuel cells. In another variant, metastable structures can impart transformation toughening for mechanical applications; most ceramic knife blades are made of this material.