Did you know that the oldest ceramics (archaeologists have found) date back to 25,000 BC in Czechoslovakia? Yet we’ve only been able to use them since 9,000 BC thanks to advances within Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Ceramics has evolved since then: to the point where we hardly notice them throughout our daily lives.
However, a new line of ceramics has come into play: advanced ceramics.
Learn how this field has furthered several different industries below!
Traditional Ceramics vs. Advanced Ceramics
How do these two types of ceramics differ? And how do we even define advanced ceramics?
Traditional ceramics refers to any tiles, china, bricks, vessels, and so on made from natural materials like clay. We harden them with heat.
On the other hand, advanced ceramics deals with inorganic (non-carbon-containing) compounds or materials. They also harden through heat, yet undergo solid-state sintering.
Traditional ceramics has traditional uses: they decorate, they give us something to eat and drink, and they become nice housewarming gifts.
Advanced ceramics have more advanced uses due to their unique properties in magnetism, permeability, electricity, and more. As such, the average person seldom pays them any heed.
Advanced ceramics come in handy with electricity. Ceramic materials have sialon (silicon-, aluminum-, oxygen-, and nitrogen-containing).
This gives them special properties favorable to electricity. Things like thermal resistance, extreme toughness and hardness, shock resistance, and more all contribute to inventions like conduits, tubes, and pipes. This basically says sialon can endure high temperatures/lots of heat.
Alumina-containing ceramic materials also prove useful. This has properties suited for insulators (and thus semiconductors and resistors, too).
Body Armor Uses
Advanced ceramics also holds potential in soldiers’ and police officers’ armor/uniforms. This ceramic material contains boron. We want to make such protective gear bulletproof.
We can bind this ceramic to fiberglass. The ceramic breaks upon bullet impact while the fiberglass catches/softens the blow. This injures our wearer but ultimately saves their life.
We can magnetize lots of ceramic materials due to their various elemental constituents. Thus, we find them in several different applications (aside from the magnets on our fridge like:
- Window wipers
We can even find advanced ceramics used in space research! The possibilities are truly endless
Advanced Ceramics in a Nutshell
Overall, advanced ceramics prove commonplace in our lives. They often go unnoticed but have changed our world, our technology, and our lives.
They will continue to make their mark as we discover more about them, the materials they’re made from, and the processes to make such materials.
Who knew such great advances could come from something as simple as clay from thousands of years ago in Czechoslovakia?
Both traditional and advanced ceramics will continue to live on and impact us in both grand and unnoticeable ways.
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