A ceramic is an inorganic, non-metallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous (e.g., a glass). Because most common ceramics are crystalline, the definition of ceramic is often restricted to inorganic crystalline materials, as opposed to the non-crystalline glasses.
The earliest ceramics were pottery objects made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials, hardened in fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create a colored, smooth surface. Ceramics now include domestic, industrial and building products and art objects. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering; for example, in semiconductors.
The word ceramic comes from the Greek word "?e?a?????" (keramikos), "of pottery" or "for pottery",from "???a???" (keramos), "potter's clay, tile, pottery". The earliest mention on the root "ceram-" is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, "workers of ceramics", written in Linear b syllabic script. Ceramic may be used as an adjective describing a material, product or process; or as a singular noun, or, more commonly, as a plural noun, ceramics.
Before we studing about ceramics, we have to its meaning,properties and its applications. They are as follows :-
?A ceramics is often broadly defined as any inorganic nonmetallic material.Examples of such materials can be anything from NaCl (table salt) to clay (a complex silicate)
?By this definition,ceramics materials would also include glasses; however many materials scientists add the stipulation that ?ceramics? must also be crystalline.
Properties Of Ceramics;
? Some of the useful properties of ceramics and glasses include high melting temperature, low density , high strength, stiifness, hardness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance.
?Many ceramics are good electrical and thermal insulators.
?Some ceramics have special properties: some ceremics are magnetic; some are piezoelectrical materials; and a few special ceramics are superconductors at very low temperature.
?Ceramics have one major drawback: they are brittle.
Applications Of Ceramics;
?Ceramics are used in the manufacture of knives. the blade of a ceramic knife will stay sharp for much longer than that of a steel knife, although it is more brittle and can be snapped by dropping it on a hard surface.
?Ceramics are increasingly used in motor sports, where a series of durable and lightweight insulatory coatings have become necessary, for example on ceramic disk brakes.
?Ceramics such as alumina and boron carbide have been used in ballistic armored vests to repel large-calibre rifle fire. such plates are known commonly as small arms protective inserts (sapi). similar material is used to protect cockpits of some military airplanes, because of the low weight of the material.
?However, people?s demands for microelectronics and structural composite compounds have created a \high demand for ceramics.
Some ceramic fastners are as follows:-
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