We see the use of ceramics in many day-to-day objects. Glass, tiles, bricks, porcelain, etc. are examples of things that contain ceramic. From a chemical or scientific point of view, ceramics are the inorganic and nonmetallic solids. In other words when we take away metal from any object, what we’re left with is called ceramic.
Types of ceramics:
It is believed that the invention of ceramics was thousand years ago, and still we are building new and new ceramic materials every day. Now the modern engineered ceramics are used for single and specific purposes compared to the olden age ceramics like bricks and glass. Based on these, there are two categories in which ceramics can be divided: traditional ceramics and modern engineered ceramics.
These include the age-old material like bricks, glass, tiles, cement, porcelain and many more. Although each of these materials has different uses, they can be categorised for general purposes. For example tile, you can use it outside the house, inside the house, on the roof and in many more places. These are often known as ancient materials. They have been used since our ancestors.
Modern engineered ceramics:
These type of ceramics are engineered in the 20th century for highly specific purposes. For example, tungsten made from ceramics is used for making exceptional, high cutting, high-performance tools. These modern engineered ceramics includes mostly carbides, metal oxides, and nitrides, because they are generally made out of compounds like nitrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms. Along with tungsten, silicon carbide and boron nitride are also used for cutting high-performance tools. Silicon dioxide and alumina are used to make microchips. Also, crystals of oxygen, barium, and copper are used to make superconductors.
Not every high-end material only compounds. In some materials, ceramics forms a kind of background material which is called the matrix. This is also reinforced with fibres of other materials. These materials are known as ceramic matrix composite. Some of the examples of this type of matrix are silicon carbide fibres in silicon carbide matrix.
Properties of ceramics:
The most important property of ceramics is that they are refractory. They are also rough and tumble. For example, tiles which are hard, water resistant and scratch proof and survive years upon years without any damage. Ceramics also have high melting points. They are tough and have more strength. They can be used for a long time, and thus they are durable. They are also good conductors. Most ceramics are nonmagnetic, but ferrites make great magnets. They are chemically inert and thus are less reactive when comes in contact with other chemicals.
As we know from porcelain to bricks ceramics is used in many things. Along with this, they are used for aerospace. The engines need to cope with high temperature, and that is why ceramics are used in the production of these engines.