Ceramics and Composite Materials

Ceramics cover a very wide range of materials from structural materials like concrete to technical ceramics like PZT – a piezoelectric.  Usually they are defined as solids with a mixture of metallic or semi-metallic and non-metallic elements (often, although not always, oxygen), that are quite hard, non-conducting and corrosion-resistant. The most useful technique for finding the composition of a ceramic is energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Ceramics are mostly made by powder processing techniques, for example sintering . Composites are often used in applications that require specific ‘conflicting’ properties such as a high strength and high toughness. The properties may be conflicting because having a high yield stress sometimes relies on trapping and tangling dislocations, but these reduce the ductility and toughness of the material.  Composites often consist of a matrix and fibres or particles that affect the properties.

  • Nanocrystalline ceramics, interfaces, thin and thick film processing
  • Processing, structure and properties of ceramics
  • Ceramic materials in regenerative medicine and drug delivery
  • Ceramics for energy generation, conversion and storage
  • Metal-matrix and Polymer- matrix composites
  • Polymer-matrix composites
  • Novel sintering methods and progress in conventional sintering
  • Ultra-high temperature ceramics – carbides, nitrides, borides
  • Computational modeling and simulation
  • Structural and electronic ceramics

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