Ceramic

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A ceramic is an inorganic, non-metallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling.[1] Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous (e.g., a glass). Because most common ceramics are crystalline, the definition of ceramic is often restricted to inorganic crystalline materials, as opposed to the non-crystalline glasses.

The earliest ceramics were pottery objects made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials, hardened in fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create a colored, smooth surface. Ceramics now include domestic, industrial and building products and art objects. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering; for example, in semiconductors.

The word ceramic comes from the Greek word "κεραμικός" (keramikos), "of pottery" or "for pottery",[2] from "κέραμος" (keramos), "potter's clay, tile, pottery".[3] The earliest mention on the root "ceram-" is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, "workers of ceramics", written in Linear b syllabic script.[4] Ceramic may be used as an adjective describing a material, product or process; or as a singular noun, or, more commonly, as a plural noun, ceramics.[5]

Contents

Types of ceramic products

For convenience, ceramic products are usually divided into four sectors; these are shown below with some examples:

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