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Science Ideas and Concepts

Scientific study requires a basic knowledge and understanding of ideas and concepts. This collection explains the ideas that are fundamental to Ceramics.

  • What are ceramics? – Information Sheet

    ‘Ceramic’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘pottery’. Today, the term ‘ceramic’ has a more expansive meaning. It includes non clay-based advanced ceramics, which are being increasingly used in engineering and medicine.

  • What are minerals? – Information Sheet

    A mineral is an element or chemical compound, normally crystalline, that is found in rocks or as natural deposits in the Earth’s crust. Minerals are often used in the production of ceramics.

  • What is clay? – Information Sheet

    Since the earliest times, humankind has had a close association with clay. It is a key ingredient in the material world we live in. What is clay and how was it made?

  • Bone and tooth minerals – Information Sheet

    The minerals found in human teeth and bones that give them their hardness and strength belong to a mineral family known as biological apatites.

  • Temperature – the highs and lows – Information Sheet

    Very high temperatures are needed to make advanced ceramic materials. For ceramic superconductors to operate effectively, they need to be cooled to very low temperatures.

  • Advanced ceramics – oxides and nitrides – Information Sheet

    The raw materials used in the production of advanced ceramics are based on metal oxides like alumina (Al2O3), inorganic non-metal oxides like silica (SiO2) and man-made nitrides like silicon nitride     (Si3N4).