Ceramic Engineering

Ceramic engineering is a science and technology that uses inorganic non-metallic materials to make objects. The research scope of ceramic engineering includes the purification of raw materials, the research and production of required chemical components, and the research on the structure, composition and properties of the product.

Ceramic materials may contain all or part of the crystalline structure, which is widely ordered at the atomic level. Glass ceramics may have an amorphous or glass-like structure, with almost no degree of order or only a small range of order. Their manufacturing method may be obtained by cooling and solidifying molten material, by heating, or by chemical means such as hydrothermal or sol-gel method at low temperature.

The characteristics of ceramic materials make it possible to find many applications in materials engineering, electronic engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering. Since ceramics are usually very heat-resistant, they can be used in many places where metals and polymers cannot. Ceramic materials have a wide range of applications in industry, including mining, aerospace, medicine, refining, military, food and chemical plants, electronics industry, industrial power transmission, and optical waveguide transmission, etc.


The word ceramic comes from the Greek word κεραμικός (keramikos), which means pottery. This word is related to the burning of ancient Indo-European roots. [2] In English, ceramics can be used as a singular noun, referring to ceramic materials or ceramic products, or as an adjective. The plural form of ceramics can be used to refer to the use of ceramic materials to make things. Like many sciences and technologies, ceramic engineering has undergone great development, and its previous meaning is very different from today’s standards. Materials science engineering and ceramic engineering are now converging.

Leo Morandi’s tile glazing line (circa 1945).
In 1709, Abraham Darby used coke for the first time in Shrop, England, to increase the output of the smelting process. Coke has now been widely used in the production of carbide ceramics. In 1759, potter Josiah Wedgwood opened the first modern ceramic factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England. In 1888, Austrian chemist Karl Bayer developed a production technology for separating aluminum from bauxite ore for the Russian textile industry. This technology is called the Bayer process. Now, the Bayer process is still used to purify aluminum for the ceramic industry and aluminum industry. Two brothers Pierre Curie and Jacques Curie discovered that potassium sodium tartrate has piezoelectric properties in about 1880, and piezoelectricity is one of the key properties of electronic ceramics.

In 1983, Edward Goodrich Acheson invented silicon carbide, or synthetic silicon carbide, by heating a mixture of coke and clay. French chemist Henry Moissan also synthesized silicon carbide and tungsten carbide in his electric arc furnace almost simultaneously. In 1923, Carl Schroth used liquid phase sintering in Germany to combine (or bond) Moissan carbide particles with cobalt. The use of this metal-bonded carbide to make a blade can greatly extend the life of a tool made of hardened steel. In the 1920s, Walter Nernst developed cubic zirconia production technology. This material is used as an oxygen sensor in the exhaust system. The only limitation of using ceramics in engineering is its fragility.

Military requirements

The military demand for ceramics during the Second World War (1939-1945) greatly promoted the development of ceramic engineering. The war created a demand for high-performance materials, which accelerated the development of ceramic science and technology. In the 1960s and 1970s of the twentieth century, many new types of ceramics were developed due to the requirements of nuclear technology, electronics industry, communications industry and space technology. In 1986, ceramic superconductors were discovered, which aroused research interest in the application of ceramic superconductors in electronic devices, motors, and transportation equipment.

The military sector has an increasing demand for high-strength, sturdy materials that can transmit light in the visible and mid-infrared bands. These materials can be used where transparent armor is required. Transparent armor A material or series of materials that are transparent and can provide protection against shrapnel. The main demand for transparent armor is not only to defeat threatening enemies, but also to provide a multi-strike capability that minimizes interference with surrounding areas. The transparent armored windows must be compatible with night vision equipment. People are looking for new thinner and lighter materials that can provide stronger protection capabilities [3]. This solid component is widely used in many different occasions, such as optical fibers, optical switches, optical amplifiers and lenses that can be used to transmit light waves in optoelectronics, and materials for manufacturing solid laser mainframes and transparent windows of gas lasers. , And infrared thermal search equipment for missile guidance systems and infrared night vision systems.

The above article is excerpted from Wikipedia