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Introductory Chapter: Smart and Advanced Ceramics and Applications

Written By

Mohsen Mhadhbi and Ali Sohani

Published: 28 September 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.105977

From the Edited Volume

Smart and Advanced Ceramic Materials and Applications

Edited by Mohsen Mhadhbi

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1. Introduction

Ceramic materials are inorganic compounds consisting of metallic and non-metallic elements, which are held together with ionic, and/or covalent bonds [1]. It combines the principles of physics, chemistry, and engineering [2]. However, smart and advanced ceramic materials are usually fabricated in small quantities and at high costs. Furthermore, these new class of materials play a major role in the high-tech industry, energy, biomedical, military industry, solar cells, and fuel cells due to their specific high-temperature mechanical and optical properties, their biocompatibility, and their unique composite effects of light, sound, electricity, magnetism, heat, or function. In this context, many excellent researches have been reported on smart and advanced ceramic materials [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Various types of smart and advanced ceramic materials each have particular properties, providing high performance and economical replacement to traditional materials, such as glass, plastics, metals, and others. Indeed, advanced ceramics applications attempt to improve operation at low cost and to address the requirements of the particular applications.

However, the widely used smart and advanced ceramic materials are shown in Figure 1 and developed below:

  • Alumina: Alumina (Al2O3) is one of the most widely used advanced ceramic materials. It has excellent properties, such as high hardness, high melting point, high mechanical strength, excellent wear resistance, high corrosion resistance, low density, etc. This material is a kind of ceramic with a wide range of uses.

  • Zirconia: Zirconia (ZrO2) possesses desirable properties, such as low thermal conductivity, high mechanical strength, excellent wear resistance, high corrosion resistance, and good biocompatibility, making it one of the most popularly utilized advanced ceramic materials.

  • Cubic boron nitride: Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is a most important advanced ceramic material, which is prepared through compressing hexagonal boron nitride at high temperature and high pressure. It possesses excellent properties including high hardness, high chemical resistance, high thermal stability, high electrical resistivity, high thermal conductivity, etc.

  • Silicon nitride: Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is one of the few advanced ceramic materials that is able to survive the severe thermal gradients and thermal chock stresses. This material is widely used in structural applications due to its specific properties, such as low density, good wear resistance, excellent oxidation resistance, etc.

  • Silicon carbide: Silicon carbide (SiC) is a particular advanced ceramic material, which is largely used as abrasive and cutting tools because of its unique characteristics, such as low density, great hardness, and strength, high thermal stability, and excellent corrosion resistance, etc.

  • Resin matrix ceramics: Resin matrix ceramics (RMCs) is a novel class of advanced ceramic materials which combines the properties of polymer and ceramic matrices. There are two types: resin-based ceramics and hybrid ceramics, which are principally applied in dentistry.

Figure 1.

Different types of smart and advanced ceramic materials.

Smart and advanced ceramic materials are referred to as special and engineering ceramics. Table 1 shows the various applications of advanced ceramics which include two types.

Structural ceramicsFunctional ceramics
Automotive ceramicsMagnetoceramics
Nuclear ceramicsPackage ceramics
Ceramics used in cutting toolsOptical ceramics
Tribiological ceramicsConductive ceramics

Table 1.

Applications of smart and advanced ceramic materials.

Smart and advanced ceramic materials provide products and services to an increasing and important range of advanced manufacturing industries, involving automotive, aerospace, energy, defense, telecommunications, etc. More extensive research on the processes of ceramic materials is necessary and extensive development plans should be presented. Thus, the advanced ceramic materials possess some challenges including the high cost of product research and development, the innovation at the industrial scale could acquire a remarkable investment in capital and time, the commercialization of innovation is slow, and the deficiency of cross-sector technology transfer.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the author service manager Ms. Elena Vracaric.


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Written By

Mohsen Mhadhbi and Ali Sohani

Published: 28 September 2022