Teaching in italian
Subject area
Reference degree course
Course type
Master's Degree
Teaching hours
Frontal Hours: 54.0
Academic year
Year taught
Course year

Teaching description

Teaching program is provisional and may be subject to changes

Students are requested to retrieve chemistry, physics, materials fundamentals, electromagnetism

The course provides a thorough understanding of ceramic and glassy materials. The student will be able to assess whether, when and how to suggest the use of ceramic materials in different application contexts. The criteria for the engineering design and affidabilistic approach on ceramic materials will be disclosed.

The course should enable the students to: 

* Identify the role of ceramic materials in technological devices and in everyday life.

* Identify the functional and structural properties of ceramic materials and learn how to recognize their properties starting from sensory perceptions ending up to analytical testing.

* Quantify the engineering performance of ceramics: strength, stiffness, toughness, transparency, opacity, refractoriness, thermal and electrical conductivity and certify their suitability for specific uses.

* Acquire a working method for the identification of the material and combination of materials capable of offering the best engineering solution

The course includes plane lecturing on scheduled program plus laboratory experience, ceramic forming and sintering design by rapid prototyping, sol-gel slip casting

Attention will be given to applications and markets: ceramics for aerospace, electronics, medicine, energy, glass technology

Guided tours in research laboratories and companies are a part of teaching method

An introduction on resources resource scouting will be give: Databases, internet, fairs, books, magazines, exhibitions

  Meet experts in seminars

The student is evaluated by the commitment and interest with which he follows the theoretical lectures and laboratory experiences. The student at the end of the course will prepare a monograph or a report on experiences of laboratory. A final oral examination will give the final vote.

All lectures are available at web site  https://sites.google.com/unisalento.it/ceramics/home

Traditional ceramics, glasses, advanced ceramics: taxonomy and classes.

Description of the microstructure of the main ceramics: wurtzite, zin blende, cesium chloride, corundum, fluorite perovskite, garnet, graphite, diamond, amorphous carbon and carbon fibers. Silicates: tectosilicates and feldspars, phyllosilicates, zeolites clays and their properties: intercalation and chemical reactivity and their properties. Ceramics and porcelain from silicates: the ternary phase diagram. Density, microporosity mesoporosity and macroporosity, evaluation and applications.

Mechanical properties of ceramics, theoretical strength, Griffith model of fracture for brittle materials, toughening mechanisms in monolithic and ceramic composites. Weibull probabilistic approach to the mechanical performace of ceramics.

Electrical and magnetic properties of ceramic: dielectric constant, contributions to the polarizability, electrical conductivity in ceramic conductors and semiconductors. Solid state gas sensors, fuel cells, piezoceramics, ferroelectric and ferromagnetic ceramics.

Sintering: definition, types and stages of sintering. Solid state sintering: densification from diffusion transport from grain boundaries, lattice, surface diffusion and vapor. Viscous sintering and Frenkel model. The sintering diagram.

Ceramic powders: Bayer process for the preparation of alumina, and Atchenson process for the preparation of silicon carbide. Methods for sieving, sizing calcining ceramic powders. Properties of ceramic suspensions: zeta potential, viscosity, flocculation deflocculation.

Forming of ceramic by wet and dry methods: slip casting, uniaxial and isostatic pressing, injection moulding. Rapid prototyping techniques: selective laser sintering, laminated object manufacturing, laser stereolithography.

Ceramic matrix composites: ceramic fibres and classification of reinforcements and preforms. The role of fiber-matrix interface. 

Materials in the glassy state: models and prediction of amorphous solid formation. The furnaces for glass melting and raw materials selection. Production of glass fibers and cables. Glass processing techniques: etching, fusing, blowing, pressing, drawing.

Flat glass: production processes, thermal and chemical tempering and surface hardening. Safety glass, tempered glass. Special glasses: low-emissivity, solar glass, anti-reflective, fireproof glasses.

Color: Definition absorption phenomena, emission, reflection and luminescence. The color in the ceramic and in the glasses, vibrational model in ionic solids, the transition metals, the rare earths. 

Applications and markets for structural ceramics, electroceramics, coatings, bioceramics, ceramics for energy, membranes, ceramic filters, ceramics for aerospace, telecommunications materials.

Bioceramics and biological tissue response: definitions and classifications. The biogenic materials, and the "ceramic" materials of natural origin. Implants, prosthesys, scaffolds, films the range of ceramic biotechnological solutions

Fundamentals of Ceramics, Michel Barsoum, M.W Barsoum, 2002 CRC Press

Modern Ceramic Engineering, 

D. W. Richerson, M. Dekker inc., 1990 

Mechanical properties of ceramics, J. Wachtman et al, Wiley e Sons 2009

Introduction to the principles of ceramic processing, J.S. Reed J. Wiley e Sons 1988 

Electroceramics, A.J. Moulson, J.M. Herbert, Chapman and Hall 1990


Exam type

Type of assessment
Oral - Final grade

Course timetable

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