What is it?

It is incredibly difficult to precisely define ceramic, because it encompasses a vast array of materials. Essentially, ceramic is a non-metallic, inorganic, and refractory material. They can be divided into two classes: advanced ceramics and traditional ceramics. Advanced ceramics consist of non-silicate glasses, nitrides, pure oxides, and carbides, to name a few. Advanced ceramics have the following inherent properties: low electrical conductivity, low thermal conductivity, good corrosion resistance, resistant to high temperatures, resistant to plastic deformation, and wear resistant. Traditional ceramics include cement, silicate glass, and clay products. Traditional ceramics have been around for thousands of years, and were even used by the Ancient Greeks. Ceramic offers numerous advantages over other materials. Its raw materials are inexpensive and plentiful, it is less dense than most metals, it is stiffer and harder than steel, and it is more corrosion and heat resistant than polymers or metals.

Tile floor

How is it Made

Ceramic is traditionally made by the process of firing. The word “ceramic” actually comes from a Sanksrit word meaning “to burn”. Pottery, for example, is made by retrieving clay from the ground, making it more flexible by mixing it with water, shaping it in a mold or on a wheel, and then firing it in a kiln. While this is a similar process to what people would have done thousands of years ago, the invention of machinery has made the process quicker and provides many more options. Machines are often used in processes such as hot pressing, which forces a powdered form of ceramic into a mold while also heating it and pressing it to fuse it into a specific shape, jiggering, where it lays the material into a rotating mold, and extrusion, which forces the material into a shape by squeezing it through a shaped tool. Extremely tough ceramics are made through a process called reaction bonding. The silicon powder is formed into a shape and then nitrogen gas is used to heat it.

Raw Materials-Ceramic


Ceramic is used for many different purposes, including several items that you no doubt use everyday in your home. Brick houses, for example, are held together by cement made from calcium silicates. Walls are generally plastered with ceramic gypsum, and porcelain bathrooms are decorated with tales made of talc and clay. Toilets are primarily made from ceramic, as are bath tubs and bathroom, sinks. Television sets contain ceramic insulators, while electric motors in appliances like food blenders and vacuum cleaners use magnetic ceramics. Ceramics are also used in speakers, while indoor heating is often provided by a heated ceramic filament. Ceramic is used for much more than just household applications, however. It is often used in hip replacements, for example, because it stimulates tissue formation and natural bone growth around the artificial joint. Catalytic converters are made from aluminosilicate ceramics, because they can withstand the high temperatures generated in car exhausts to convert air pollution into less harmful gases. Deep-sea submersibles are also being built from ceramics, while there is even a new kind of paint made from piezoelectric ceramic, which could potentially detect earthquakes or metal failures.