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An Introduction to Ceramics

Mention ceramics and most people will automatically think of pottery and chinaware. In their earthenware and pottery forms, the history of ceramics can be traced back more than 10,000 years. And yet, these inorganic, non-metallic materials are providing the platform for a modern-day revolution in materials technology which is helping to drive industrial development around the world.

New processes and advances in forming and manufacturing techniques introduced in recent years have led to the development of advanced ceramics with the properties and application potential to solve what were once regarded as seemingly impossible technical and engineering challenges.

Today’s advanced ceramics bear little resemblance to their origins. They offer unique and amazingly powerful physical, thermal and electrical properties that have opened up a whole new world of development opportunities for manufacturers in a wide range of industries.

Advanced ceramics provide the perfect solution and a cost-effective, high performance alternative to traditional materials such as metals, plastics and glass.

In general terms, advanced ceramics exhibit exceptional properties that make them highly resistant to melting, bending, stretching, corrosion or wear. Their hardness, physical stability, extreme heat resistance, chemical inertness, biocompatibility, superior electrical properties and, not least, their suitability for use in mass produced products make them one of the most versatile groups of materials in the world.

Today, there are a wide range of advanced ceramics including alumina, zirconia, silicon nitride, silicon carbide, steatite, cordierite and many, many more - each with their own particular performance characteristics and benefits. New materials are being developed all the time in response to the challenges posed by new and changing applications.



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