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Ceramic Material Characteristics

Ceramics and glasses are inorganic, nonmetallic materials consisting of metallic and nonmetallic elements bonded primarily with ionic and covalent bonds. These high strength bonds give rise to the special characteristics of these materials. They occupy a unique place in the spectrum of engineered materials offering many desirable alternatives to the metals and polymers in common usage.

General Characteristics of Structural Materials
Characteristic Ceramics Metals Polymers
Density Low to High Low to High Low
Hardness High Medium Low
Tensile Strength Low to Medium High Low
Compressive Strength High Medium to High Low to Medium
Young’s Modulus Medium to High Low to High Low
Melting Point High Low to High Low
Dimensional Stability High Low to Medium Low
Thermal Expansion Low to Medium Medium to High High
Thermal Conductivity Medium Medium to High Low
Thermal Shock Low Medium to High High
Electrical Resistance High Low High
Chemical Resistance High Low to Medium Medium
Oxidation Resistance Medium to High Low Low
Machinability Medium Low Medium


There are wide variations in the properties of ceramics and glasses due primarily to differences in bonding and wide variations in chemical composition. However, as a materials class, the following characteristics are typical.
Low to moderate density compared to metals
High modulus of elasticity (stiffness)
Good strength retention at elevated temperatures
Resistant to high temperature creep
Dimensional stability
High compressive strength
Low to moderate tensile and shear strength
High hardness
Corrosion and oxidation resistant
Good electrical insulation properties
Wide range of thermal conductivity
Wide range of thermal expansion coefficient
Low impact strength
Sensitive to thermal shock

uses of ceramics;

Uses of Ceramics

Ceramic products are hard, porous, and brittle. As a result, they are used to make pottery, bricks, tiles, cements, and glass. Ceramics are also used at many places in gas turbine engines. Bio-ceramics are used as dental implants and synthetic bones. Given below are some other important uses of ceramics.

Uses of Whitewares

Whitewares find application in spark plugs, electrical insulators, laboratory equipments, crucibles, dishes, and high-class potteries.

Uses of Clay

Clay is the starting raw material for manufacturing bricks, tiles, terracotta, pottery, earthenwares, sewer, drain pipes, and covers for electrical cables.

Uses of Stonewares

Stonewares are used for constructing sanitary fixtures, such as sinks and bath tubs. Stonewares are also used in the construction of piping vessels, drainage pipes, underground cable sheathings, sewerage pipes, home pipes, absorption towers, valves, and pumps in the chemical industry. They are cheaper than many other construction materials but are rather fragile and once broken, they have no resale value.

Uses of Glass

The main use of glass is to make household glassware, decorative items, and optical lenses. Glasses are used for heat insulation purposes, for example, in ovens. Glass is used as an insulator in metal pipelines, in vacuum cleaners, and on the walls and roofs of houses. Glass is resistant to chemicals. As a result, it is used to filter corrosive liquids such as acids and acid solutions. It is also used for sound insulation. Safety glass is used in aircraft, automobiles, helicopter, and submarines. Glass can also be…


  1. define ceramics
  2. 5 properties of ceramics


See also


Properties of metals


Properties of materials

Workshop safety

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