Many people think of ceramics in terms of dinner plates, kitchen tiles and bathroom sinks. But ceramics also comprise crucial components for electrical, electronic, medical, automotive and other technical applications. Such advanced ceramics represent a market of more than $100 billion in the U.S. alone, and demand continues to rise.
“They succeed where metals and polymers fail,” says Majid Minary, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. “Ceramics can tolerate harsh environments such as the high temperatures of heat exchangers at power plants and the corrosive content of batteries and fuel cells. So they are indispensable for most of our energy systems.”