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Ceramics Thermal Coatings History and Background Applications date into antiquity - earthenware, pottery, clay product, bricks, etc More modern uses: Transparent glass, structural glass, refractories

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history and background
History and Background
  • Applications date into antiquity - earthenware, pottery, clay product, bricks, etc
  • More modern uses: Transparent glass, structural glass, refractories
  • Advanced uses: Thermal barrier coatings, structural ceramics, composite armor, electronics, glass-ceramics
  • Ceramics can be Amorphous or Crystalline
  • Atomic structure contains strong Ionic Bonds
what are they
What are they?
  • A compound of metallic and nonmetallic elements, for which the inter atomic

bonding is predominantly ionic.

  • They tend to be oxides, carbides, etc of metallic elements.
  • The mechanical properties are usually good: high strength, especially at elevated temperature.
  • However, they exhibit low to nil-ductility, and have low fracture toughness.
crystalline ceramics
Crystalline Ceramics
  • As with plastics, the amorphous ceramics tend to be transparent
  • The structural ceramics tend to be crystalline and show greater strength, as well as stability at high temperature
ax structure cscl
AX Structure - CsCl
  • Cl-

Note: This is not

a BCC structure.


Simple Cubic Crystal

ax structure nacl
AX Structure - NaCl

2- FCC



try it
Try it!

Compute the theoretical density of Rock Salt based on its crystal structure.

For this NaCl structure, the crystal lattice parameter is

a= 2 ( r Na+ + r Cl -),

where r is ionic radius.

silicate ceramics
Silicate Ceramics
  • Silica, SiO2
  • Many polymorphs:Quartz CrystobaliteTridymite
  • Low density: Quartz: 2.65g/cm3
  • Pure carbon has many polymorphs with vastly varying properties. It also exists in the amorphous state.
  • Diamond: Is similar to ZnS in structure
  • Graphite is considered to be a crystalline ceramic
  • Fullerenes, C60, are a newly discovered polymorph - with interesting properties.
  • AX type crystal structure similar

to that of ZnS.

  • Each carbon atom is covalently bonded to four other C atoms in a diamond-cubic crystal structure.
  • The material is optically transparent and extremely hard (hardest natural material known) and durable.
  • In engineering applications, cruder or industrial forms of diamond, that are much less expensive than the gemstone forms, are used as abrasives, indentors, and coatings (especially thin films) for a variety of applications.
  • Layers of hexagonally arranged and

covalently bonded C atoms.

  • Between layers, weaker Van der Walls

bonds are active, giving easy slip

on the {0001} crystallographic planes.

  • Excellent as a dry lubricant, relatively high strength at elevated temperatures, high thermal and electrical conductivity, low thermal expansion, resistance to thermal shock, and good machinability.
  • Usage: electrodes, heating elements, crucibles, casting molds, rocket nozzles, and other applications.
fullerenes c 60
Fullerenes, C60
  • Molecular form of carbon with a

hollow spherical structure resembling

a geodesic dome (soccer ball.)

  • Called buckyballs after R. Buckminister

Fuller, who pioneered the geodesic dome.

Discovered in 1985 and have since been found to occur naturally in several sources.

  • In the solid crystalline state, C60 molecules pack together in a FCC unit cell arrangement with a lattice parameter a=1.41 nm.
  • The pure solid material density is about 1.65 g/cm3and it is relatively soft and is non-conducting since it has no free electrons.
properties of buckyballs
Properties of Buckyballs
  • When alkali metal anions, most notably K+,are in the structure (usually 3 per C60 molecule), the resulting molecular material (K3C60) displays the characteristics of a metal. In fact, K3C60 is considered to be the first molecular metal ever encountered.
  • K3C60 buckyballs and similar molecular materials become super conducting (practically no electrical resistance) at about 18K (relatively high temperature for this phenomenon)
  • Applications in low-power consumption, low-pollution, magnetic-levitation and propulsion devices for mass transit systems.
  • Other synthetic ceramic materials have been developed that display superconductivity at even higher temperatures (up to 100K) above the temperature of liquid nitrogen, a relatively inexpensive and abundant coolant.
try it17
Try It!
  • Calcualte the theoretical density of pure C60 based on a FCC unit cell as shown:

a=1.41 nm

defects in crystalline ceramics
Defects in Crystalline Ceramics
  • Vacancy
  • Interstitial
  • Dislocation
  • Grain Boundary

Cation Interstitial

Anion Vacancy

Cation Vacancy

Schotky Defect

Frenkel Defect



mechanical properties
Mechanical Properties
  • Brittle Materials, hard to perform a Tension Test.
  • Flexural Test (Bend) is often substituted.
  • Obtain Flexural Strength (Modulus of Rupture), Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity), and Ductility.
  • Strength is often good, Stiffness my be high, but Ductility and affected properties are poor.
  • In crystalline ceramics, dislocation motion is difficult because of the need to maintain electro-neutrality. Consequently plastic deformation is restricted.
flexural test configuration
Flexural Test Configuration

Rectangular: Circular:

mechanical properties of various ceramics
Mechanical Properties of Various Ceramics

a Sintered with about 5% porosity

relative hardness
Relative Hardness

B4C, SiC

WC, Al2O3


effect of porosity on stiffness
Effect of Porosity on Stiffness

Where Eo is the theoretical modulus of elasticity with no porosity, and P is the volume fraction of porosity.

effect of porosity on strength
Effect of Porosity on Strength

Where so is the theoretical modulus of rupture with no porosity, P is the volume fraction of porosity, and n is an empirical material constant

amorphous ceramics glasses na 2 0 ca0 k 2 o etc
Amorphous Ceramics - Glasses (Na20, Ca0, K2O, etc)
  • The viscosity of the material at ambient temperature is relatively high, but as the temperature increases there is a continuous decrease in viscosity.
  • When the viscosity has decreased to the point that the ceramic is a fluid, it is considered to have melted.
  • At ambient temperature while it is still solid, it is said to be in the “glassy” condition.
  • There is no distinct melting temperature (Tm) for these materials as there is with the crystalline materials.
  • The glass transition temperature, Tg, is used to define the temperature below which the material is a “solid” and defines a practical upper limit on service temperature.
viscous behaviour in amorphous ceramics
Viscous Behaviour in Amorphous Ceramics

t = shear stress

h = viscosity of


  • Plastic deformation does not occur by dislocation motion in amorphous or non-crystalline ceramics, such as glass.
  • Deformation is by viscous flow: rate of deformation proportional to applied stress.
ceramic phase diagrams
Ceramic Phase Diagrams
  • Note: They are similar to metal alloy systems - except the temperatures are generally higher.