Ceramics are materials that are composed of inorganic substances (usually a combination of metallic and nonmetallic elements). Just where in your life would you use items based on ceramic materials? Let’s look at a scenario that we all have in common.
"Beeeeppp," the alarm clock sounds to roust you from your sleep. The electricity that kept that clock ticking all night was generated, stored, and traveled through a whole array of ceramic products such as transducers, resistors, and various insulators. You turn on the light which is encased in a glass (ceramic) bulb.
Up and going, your feet hit the ceramic tiled floor of the bathroom as you drag yourself over to the slip casted ceramic throne (toilet). Duty attended to, you head for the ceramic sink where hands and teeth are cleaned (even the ceramic one that was implanted after that athletic accident). Before you step into the shower, you warm up the room with the electric heater that contains ceramic heating elements.
"Brrrinnng," the phone, which contains a ceramic microphone that can transmit your voice through fiber optic lines, rings. “Hello,” and in the background you detect that “click - click“ of a computer which contains ceramic-based microelectronic packages that house silicon wafers.
The bathroom has warmed. You pause to look out over the snow covered lawn and contemplate adding another layer of fiber glass insulation to help hold the heat in the house. You realize that you really don’t want to put those pink fiberglass rolls into your brand new car, which in itself contains over 70 pounds of ceramic sensors and parts.
"Zoooommmm," overhead a jet passes by, and you think about the returning space shuttle and its many uses of ceramic materials from the nose cone to the heat shielding tiles.
We could continue our journey through the day, but maybe you ought to explore what ceramics are. Would you like to discover what special properties ceramics have, and why? Or you could even find out what applications exist in today's, as well as tomorrow's world of ceramics.