The term ceramic covers a wide range of materials, e.g. brick, stone, glasses and refractory materials. Ceramics are formed from combinations of one or more metals with non metallic elements, such as oxygen, nitrogen or carbon. Ceramics are usually hard and brittle, good electrical and thermal insulators, and have good resistance to chemical attack. Because of their low thermal conductivity, they tend to have a low thermal shock resistance. Their high hardness and high temperature strengths make engineering ceramics suitable for wear resistant and high temperature applications including, for example, gas turbine engines, and cutting tools used in machining processes. They are of great potential interest to the aero-engine industry where other materials require intricate and costly manufacturing processes to form cooling channels in many components to allow the passage of cooling fluids. Ceramic components are difficult to manufacture and are generally formed from powders. Common engineering ceramics include alumina, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, titanium carbide, and tungsten carbide.
Tungsten Carbide cutting teeth on a drill used in in geotechnical soil investigation
A cermaic gas turbine engine blade