Exploring microstructures for high-performance materials

In just the first few months of 2024, the journal Nature has published two scientific papers co-authored by Kun Luo, an Iowa State University postdoctoral research associate in materials science and engineering.

Electron-rich metals make ceramics tough to crack

Researchers have discovered a way to make ceramics tougher and more resistant to cracking. By building these materials using a blend of metal atoms possessing more electrons in their outer shell, a team led by engineers at ...

How do ceramic particles strengthen metallic copper?

Publishing in the International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing, scientists from Jilin University and Edith Cowan University comprehensively reviewed the latest preparation techniques of copper matrix composites and the ...

Rethinking the incandescent lightbulb

A team of material scientists and engineers affiliated with a host of institutions in China took a new look at the incandescent light bulb and found a way to improve its efficiency. In their paper published in the journal ...

Shape memory achieved for nano-sized objects

Alloys that can return to their original structure after being deformed have a so-called shape memory. This phenomenon and the resulting forces are used in many mechanical actuating systems, for example in generators or hydraulic ...

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Ceramic

A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic 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 noncrystalline glasses.

The earliest ceramics were pottery[citation needed] objects or 27000 year old figurines 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 κεραμικός (keramikos), "of pottery" or "for pottery", from κέραμος (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".

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