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Design Considerations

When evaluating the suitability of a ceramic material for a particular application, it is first necessary to understand the requirements of the application. These requirements might typically be defined by the load that the material will experience, the stress distribution in the material, interface, frictional requirements, the chemical environment and range of temperatures that the material will experience, and restriction on the final cost of the materials. Usually, one or two material properties will dictate the choice of a material for a particular application.

Historically most ceramic designs have been developed by empirical, or trial-and-error investigation. Only since the advent of the digital computer has it been possible to predict the properties of a particular ceramic material prior to actually producing it.



Richerson, David W. Modern Ceramic Engineering. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1982.

Randall Frost


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—A hard, brittle substance produced by strongly heating a nonmetallic mineral or clay.


—A ceramic material consisting of a uniformly dispersed mixture of silica, soda ash, and lime; and often combined with metallic oxides.


—Any substance with a very high melting point that is able to withstand very high temperatures.


—The bonding of adjacent surfaces of particles in a mass of metal powders by heating.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Categorical judgement to ChimaeraCeramics - Traditional Ceramics, Glass, Aluminum Oxide, Silicon Carbide, Silicon Nitride, Processing, Forming Processes - Hydraulic cement, Modern ceramics, Magnesium oxide, Sintering, Machining