Ceramics, Polymers and Composite Materials

The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects, including 27,000-year-old figurines, made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials like silica, hardened, sintered, in fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, colored surfaces, decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates. Ceramics now include domestic, industrial and building products, as well as a wide range of ceramic art. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as in semiconductors. Polymers are studied in the fields of biophysics and macromolecular science, and polymer science (which includes polymer chemistry and polymer physics). Historically, products arising from the linkage of repeating units by covalent chemical bonds have been the primary focus of polymer science; emerging important areas of the science now focus on non-covalent links. Composite materials are generally used for buildings, bridges and structures such as boat hulls, swimming pool panels, race car bodies, shower stalls, bathtubs, storage tanks, imitation granite and cultured marble sinks and counter tops. The most advanced examples perform routinely on spacecraft in demanding environments. Currently standing at USD 296.2 billion, the ceramics market is forecast to grow to USD 502.8 billion by 2020, as every industry achieves improved manufacturing efficiency along with high renewable energy efficiency. According to global market analysis, in 2014, the Composite materials industry is expected to generate revenue of approximately 156.12 billion U.S. dollars.

Typical uses of composites are monocoque structures for aerospace and automobiles, as well as more mundane products like fishing rods and bicycles. The stealth bomber was the first all-composite aircraft, but many passenger aircraft like the Airbus and the Boeing 787 use an increasing proportion of composites in their fuselages, such as hydrophobic melamine foam. The quite different physical properties of composites gives designers a much greater freedom in shaping parts, which is why composite products often look different to conventional products. On the other hand, some products such as drive shafts, helicopter rotor blades, and propellers look identical to metal precursors owing to the basic functional needs of such components.

  • Ceramic forming techniques and properties
  • Advanced ceramics
  • Polymer synthesis and charecterization
  • Polymer degredation and Stabilization
  • Conductive polymers
  • Polymer blends
  • Fabrication methods of composites
  • Matrices & reinforcements for composites
  • Fabrication of new composites based on light metals, polymers & ceramics

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