Ceramics are non-metallic, non-organic materials obtained by high temperatures.
During the cooking process of Ceramics, the raw material (usually clay) undergoes an irreversible transformation and acquires new properties
These properties are well known: strength, resistance to wear and heat, etc. A ceramic is defined both by the materials of which it is made (neither metallic nor organic), and by the way it is elaborated (a specific cooking method).
Ceramics have a wide range of properties: heat resistance, wear resistance, chemical inertness, magnetism, electrical insulators and semiconductors, biocompatibility.
Traditional, in surface coating or by additive manufacturing they are present in many fields: luxury, aeronautics and space, construction, energy, electronics, optic and medical…
Although clay was originally the basic raw material, the use of new natural or synthetic raw materials favored the development of technical ceramics.
Today, technical ceramics have little resemblance to their roots. They offer unique and astonishing properties, physical and thermal, optical and electrical, which have opened up a new world of development opportunities in all types of industries.
Although very different from traditional ceramics, they are indeed ceramics, because the raw material is a mineral powder shaped to produce the object, and the heat treatment is necessary to give it the desired characteristics.
Technical ceramics often offer the perfect alternative solution, economical and high performance to traditional materials such as metals or plastic.
- Resistance to heat : refractory ceramics
A refractory material acts in the same way at room temperature and at high-fire: resistance to temperatures higher than 1500 degrees without any significant change in its chemical or physical properties.
Ceramics are irreplaceable for many industrial applications especially in the steel industry, but also in glassworks, petrochemistry, in the manufacturing of automotive catalysts…
- Hardness and wear resistance: mechanical properties
Very hard, and much lighter than metals, ceramics provide many services, whether for making cutting objects or prosthetics.
The hardness of ceramics is highly sought-after because it makes it possible to obtain coatings and materials that are highly resistant to wear. These characteristics, combined with good heat resistance, make ceramics a good material for all applications where repeated friction generates heat: cutting objects, rotating joints, drilling and excavation tools, spinning nozzles.
Insulating and easy to shape, ceramics are omnipresent in the fields of electricity and electronics.
In the field of electronics, several dozen families of ceramics are used, depending on their specific properties. The applications are very diverse and impressive progress has been made since the days when porcelain was used to insulate electrical wires.