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Ceramics for Advanced Applications

1. Ceramics – Definition and classification
2. Why advanced ceramics ?
3. Main drawbacks of advanced ceramics
4. Designing with advanced ceramics
5. Applications of advanced ceramics
Ceramics are a class of materials broadly defined as
“inorganic, nonmetallic solids”

1. Silicate ceramics
Presence of glassy phase in a porous structure
Clay-ceramics with mullite (3Al2O3.2SiO2)
Silica-ceramics with cordierite (2MgO.2Al2O3.5SiO2)

2. Oxide ceramics
Dominant crystalline phase, with small glassy phase
Single oxide ceramics (Al2O3, BeO, MgO, ThO2, TiO2, ZrO2)
Modified oxide ceramics (ZTA – zirconia toughened alumina)
Mixed oxide ceramics (spinel - MgAl2O4 etc )
3. Non-oxide ceramics
Element C in the form of graphite and diamond
Nitrides AIN, BN, Si3N4, TiN
Carbides B4C, SiC, TiC, WC
Borides TiB2, ZrB2
Silicides MoSi2
Sialons Si3N4 with Al2O3
Syalons Si3N4 with Al2O3 and Y2O3
Have the largest range of functions of all known

1. Traditional ceramics
tableware, pottery, sanitary ware, tiles, bricks and clinker

2. Advanced ceramics
electronic ceramics – insulators, capacitors, varistors, actuators, sensors
optical ceramics – windows, lasers, magnetic ceramics
engineering/structural ceramics – have applications in mechanical
engineering, chemical engineering, high-temperature technology, and in
biomedical technology

3. Special ceramics
reactor ceramics – absorber materials, breeder materials, nuclear fuels
Low electrical conductivity (insulation – spark plugs)
Low thermal conductivity (insulation – protection tiles for Space Shuttle)
Better properties at high temperatures (nuclear fusion)
Wear resistance (cutting tool, roller bearing)
Corrosion resistance (heat exchanger for corrosive agents)
Specific properties (optical, electrical, magnetic, biomechanics)
Ref: Aldinger and Baumard, Advanced Ceramic Research: Basics Research Viewpoint
1. Low tensile strength at room temperature
2. Brittleness
causing failure without prior measurable plastic deformation

3. Sub-critical crack extension

can cause failure under constant or cyclic loading and a limited lifetime

Ceramic materials are applied only in such cases

where the positive properties prevail over the negative ones.
Physical properties:
Thermal expansion coefficient
Thermal conductivity
Electrical conductivity

Mechanical properties:
Elastic constants (Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio)
Tensile strength (mostly given as bending strength)
Compressive strength
Fracture toughness
1. Minimize tensile stresses
 Ceramic elements should be introduced at locations were
compressive stresses are expected
 Sharp notches and other stress concentrators should be avoided
 External loads should not be introduced by point or line contacts
 Temperature gradients should be minimized
 Free expansion of thermal strains should be allowed; any
restriction will result in stresses
2. A careful and accurate computation of stresses
in the whole component is necessary

 In most cases this requires application of the finite element

method (FEM)
 Determination of thermal stresses is of particular importance

3. The design requires a statistical analysis


Engine manufacturing
wear resistance, heat Al2O3, Al2TiO5, thermal insulation of
insulation, low density, ZrO2, SiC, Si3N4 combustion chambers,
resistance to corrosion, valve seats, spark plugs,
electrical insulation, high turbochargers, gas
temperature strength turbines
Industrial processing engineering
resistance to corrosion, wear Al2O3, SiC, ZrO2 chemical devices, drawing die,
resistance slide rings, thread guides, rolls
for paper industry
High-temperature techniques
resistance to corrosion, Si3N4, SiC, Al2O3, heat exchangers, crucibles,
thermal insulation, electrical C, BN, MoSi2 heating conductors,
insulation, high temperature protective tubes for
strength thermocouples, loading
devices for materials
testing, burner units
Machining of materials
Resistance to corrosion, Al2O3, Si3N4, SiC, cutting tools, grinding
wear resistance B4C, TiC, TiN, BN, wheels, sandblast nozzles
Aclass of ceramic materials used primarily for their electrical properties.

Further classified to:

Dielectric ceramics
Fast ion conductor ceramics
Piezoelectric ceramics

Dielectric Ceramics
 Capable of storing large amounts of electrical charge .
 An electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field.
 Dielectric materials can be solids, liquids, or gases.
sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)

Solid Dielectric Liquid Dielectric Gas Dielectric

Fast Ion Conductor Ceramics
 Solids in which ions are highly mobile (Na2O. Al2O3), CaO etc

 Also known as solid electrolytes and superionic conductors.

 Batteries, various sensors but primarily in solid oxide fuel cells.

Piezoelectric Ceramics
In sensors they make it possible to convert forces, pressures
and accelerations into electrical signals

In sonic and ultrasonic transducers and actuators they

convert electric voltages into vibrations or deformations.
Ferro-electric Ceramics

It is the property due to which materials show spontaneous, stable polarization
that can be switched hysteretically by an applied electric field. For example:
BaTiO3, BiFeO3 etc. spintronics, actuators, and sensor devices etc

Magnetic Ceramics
Magnetic ceramics are made of ferrites.
Crystalline minerals composed of iron oxide in combination with
some other metals.
 Transition metal, rare earth metal etc.
Soft or hard magnets.
Motors, generators, memory drum Hard disc, Floppy disc etc
 Ceramic products (Al2O3, ZrO2 )as implants and replacements.

 Biocompatibility, non-toxic, non-inflammatory and low Young's

modulus to prevent cracking of the material etc

 Dental bone implants. Artificial teeth, bones, pacemakers, kidney

dialysis machines etc.

Femoral Head of
a Hip Prosthesis
Hip Prosthesis
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