Photo by: Acik


Ceramics can be defined as heat-resistant, nonmetallic, inorganic solids
that are (generally) made up of compounds formed from metallic and
nonmetallic elements. Although different types of ceramics can have very
different properties, in general ceramics are corrosion-resistant and
hard, but brittle. Most ceramics are also good insulators and can
withstand high temperatures. These properties have led to their use in
virtually every aspect of modern life.

The two main categories of ceramics are traditional and advanced.
Traditional ceramics include objects made of clay and cements that have
been hardened by heating at high temperatures. Traditional ceramics are
used in dishes, crockery, flowerpots, and roof and wall tiles. Advanced
ceramics include carbides, such as silicon carbide, SiC; oxides, such as
aluminum oxide, Al

2

O

3

; nitrides, such as silicon nitride, Si

3

N

4

; and many other materials, including the mixed oxide ceramics that can

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