The use of ceramic materials in science and industry is very widespread because of their important advantages over metals and polymers at high temperatures or in corrosive environments. Some application of ceramic materials in different areas are as follows:
Traditional ceramics are comprised of three basic components – clay, silica (quartz), and feldspar. After the first crude clay vessels were made, people learned to make them stronger, harder, and less permeable to fluids by burning. Common examples of traditional ceramic products are brick, tiles, pot, porcelain, and decorating articles.
Ceramics are used in many industrial applications to support manufacturing within sectors such as chemical, mechanical, and energy production. Industrial ceramics include abrasives, bearings, chemical vessels, and heat & wear-resistant components.
Advanced ceramic materials are used to make components for automobiles such as spark plugs, catalysts, and catalyst supports for emission control devices, and sensors. Many types of glasses have been used for the production of windows.
Conductive ceramics are excellent conductors of electricity. Most of these conductors are advanced ceramics, whose properties are modified through precise control over their fabrication from powders into products and widely used as transistors, semiconductors, and storage cells in-memory systems.
Since ceramics are chemically resistant and different compositions offer a wide range of neutron capture and scatter characteristics, they are employed in the generation of nuclear power and the disposal of radioactive nuclear wastes. In nuclear power generation, oxide ceramics are used to make uranium and plutonium fuel pellets for both water-cooled and liquid-metal-cooled reactors.
The major application of optical ceramics is in windows, radomes, lamp envelopes, pigments, phosphors, lasers, electro-optical components. Optical materials derive their utility from their response to infrared, optical, and ultraviolet lights.
Ceramics are used to many tribological components because of their superior heat and corrosion resistance and high hardness. The most widely used tribological ceramic is coarse-grained alumina oxide in the form of small gear in the oil pump, wear-resistant parts as cutting blades in sugar industries, and wear and heat-resistance components in the furnace.
- Jindal, U. C. (2012). Material Science and Metallurgy. Pearson Education India.