This technical information has been contributed by
Accuratus Ceramic Corporation

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Ceramic Materials - Characteristics and Applications

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
Brittle
Low impact strength
Sensitive to thermal shock

Ceramics for engineering applications can be broadly broken into traditional and new materials. We define traditional materials as those produced from minerals mined directly from the earth. The newer ceramic materials, those with well defined and controlled properties are produced from nearly chemically and phase pure starting materials. Accuratus is capable of working with most of these material types.

An inventory of new ceramic materials is maintained at Accuratus for rapid fulfillment of your design requirements. We have a network of quality materials suppliers so that we can assure you of consistent quality materials for your applications.

Typical property characteristics for materials stocked at Accuratus are listed on each of the material pages. Personnel with extensive experience in ceramic manufacture, design and application are available for detailed discussions and consultation on the most appropriate ceramic available for your application conditions.

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