Your dishes, the windshields of cars, clay pots, fiber optics, spaceshuttle tiles, bricks in your house, diamonds, cement,and so much more are all ceramics. Ceramics are brittle and very strong. They have a variety of properties, but are usually not electrically or thermally conductive, which makes them insulators. They work well in compression (pushing down) like bricks, but are usually not strong in tension (pulling apart). They have ionic and covalent bonding. They usually have high stiffness, good resistance to corrosive environments, and lower fracture toughness than metals. With the exception of glasses, ceramics usually cannot be reshaped by the same forming methods as metals. A mixture of ceramic powders, water, and binder materials is frequently molded into the desired dimensions to form engineering products. Don't forget to take notes on your Why pick my Materials Class? handout.

toilet bowl


  1. http://depts.washington.edu/matseed/mse_resources/Webpage/Ceramics/ceramics.htm - A wonderful site from MatSEED that is informative and very understandable.
  2. http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/WofMatE/ceramics.htm - A Web site from San Jose State, that will give you an overall picture of ceramics.
  3. http://matse1.mse.uiuc.edu/%7Etw/ceramics/ware.html - This Website from the University of Illinois has applications of ceramics.
  4. http://matse1.mse.uiuc.edu/%7Etw/ceramics/prin.html- Also from the University of Illinois, this will give you the cold hard science facts.
  5. http://www.acers.org/acers/aboutceramics.asp?id=outreach#Definition- A site from the American Ceramics Society, a little bit harder to understand, but comprehensive.
  6. http://www.mmat.ubc.ca/other/courses/mmat382/cnc42.htm - A very technical page about ceramics, only go to it if you need specifics.
  7. http://nyscc.alfred.edu/cems/cm/ceramic_eng/cera_main.html - Univeristy of Alfred has a spin on how ceramics can help out your world.

It is also important now that you've learned about ceramics, to look at how their processed again. Processing

different types of ceramics From the MAST Website from the University of Illinois

back arrow