A ceramic is an inorganic, non-metallic, solid material comprising metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. This article gives an overview of ceramic materials from the point of view of materials science.
The crystallinity of ceramic materials ranges from highly oriented to semi-crystalline, vitrified, and often completely amorphous (e.g., glasses). Most often, fired ceramics are either vitrified or semi-vitrified as is the case with earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Varying crystallinity and electron consumption in the ionic and covalent bonds cause most ceramic materials to be good thermal and electrical insulators (extensively researched in ceramic engineering). With such a large range of possible options for the composition/structure of a ceramic (e.g. nearly all of the elements, nearly all types of bonding, and all levels of crystallinity), the breadth of the subject is vast, and identifiable attributes (e.g. hardness, toughness, electrical conductivity, etc.) are hard to specify for the group as a whole. General properties such as high melting temperature, high hardness, poor conductivity, high moduli of elasticity, chemical resistance and low ductility are the norm, with known exceptions to each of these rules (e.g. piezoelectric ceramics, glass transition temperature, superconductive ceramics, etc.). Many composites, such as fiberglass and carbon fiber, while containing ceramic materials, are not considered to be part of the ceramic family.
The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects (i.e. pots or vessels) or 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.
The word "ceramic" comes from the Greek word κεραμικός (keramikos), "of pottery" or "for pottery", from κέραμος (keramos), "potter's clay, tile, pottery". The earliest known mention of the root "ceram-" is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, "workers of ceramics", written in Linear B syllabic script. The word "ceramic" may be used as an adjective to describe a material, product or process, or it may be used as a noun, either singular, or, more commonly, as the plural noun "ceramics".

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. P

    Ceramic sink tap knockout

    I fitted my first white ceramic sink the other day or it may have been porcelain and it required me to use a 10mm centre punch and chip my way through for tap hole, the hole came out jagged and not in one round piece like the knockout. I didn't fancy drilling it as if the cutter slipped when...
  2. nigel dodd

    How to dismantle tap, kitchen mixer, ceramic

    I need to stop the dripping from the cold side of the unit. The tap goes from full on to off in half a turn so I assume it has a ceramic valve. Normally you prise the cap off, however there seems no gap at all and a knife will not locate a gap. Here is a photo...
  3. F

    Ceramic monobloc mixer tap valves/cartridges

    I know it is not normal practice to use a replacement HOT water ceramic valve/cartridge in COLD water monobloc mixer tap. However, I have been told by my supplier that they are awaiting stock of the cold water valves/cartridges and apparently they come from China and could be some weeks before...
  4. David Gill

    Ceramic Cartridge Replacement?

    [/URL][/IMG] Any idea how to replace the cartridge in one of these taps? No top to unscrew, no grub screw in the body. Looks like it might just pull off, but don’t want to attempt it if it’s the wrong thing to do! TIA
  5. F

    Ceramic kitchen monobloc mixertap

    I guess this might seem a stupid couple questions to the pro plumber but to the diyer which I am I would like to know the answers. Question 1. I have a Wickes Chantiily ceramic kitchen monobloc mixer tap as per attached photo and would like to know wether these are classed as clockwise or...
  6. M

    durability / chips - ceramic kitchen sinks

    Anyone have experience of kitchen sinks being chipped from cutlery etc being dropped in. I like the look however have had bathroom sinks ending up being chipped in the past. Alternative may be composite - any recommendations?
  7. K

    Ceramic cartridge spindle wobbles

    Hi there. I'm a home DIYer with a question (please excuse if my terminology is incorrect). A tap I have has a wobbly handwheel. On removing the handwheel I found it's the spindle of the cartridge that's wobbling. In off or fully on postions the spindle doesnt wobble, it only wobbles when the...
  8. Bogart

    Shower valve ceramic cartridge.

    Might be missing the obvious but here goes. I had a leaking on/off shower ceramic disc valve , was leaking from the spindle shaft so replaced both O rings and thought all would be fine, oh no. Put it all back in and now on/off function has no effect. There is play in so much as I can pull and...
  9. M

    Dripping tap ceramic disk cartridge.

    Do many of you try getting a new ceramic disk cartridge for a dripping tap. Or just fit a new tap. I know getting a new cartridge unless a recognised make like bristan etc can be hard to impossible. What are your thoughts on this?
  10. S

    Unusual Ceramic Cartridge

    Please can anyone tell me if they either recognise the manufacturer of the kitchen monobloc (see attached photo 1), or if they know how to remove the cartridge in the second photo and what tools to use. The spindle has a clip around it inside the hexagonal recess, but it is proving difficult to...
  11. V

    Weird thing dangling in cold water tank

    Hi all, So I have a problem with my ball valve so my cold water tank is overflowing. Probably a knackered washer, but that's a different story. The odd thing is that when looking in the tank I found something hooked into the insulation strapping and floating inside. it looks ceramic with...
  12. N

    Dripping shower head

    I have a Grohe Aquatower 3000 installed 12 years ago. The overhead head has started a steady continuous drip and, as something with no talent for DIY let alone plumbing matters, I'm very nervous about tinkering with it! My instinct is a washer but maybe it's a bit more technical, maybe a new...
  13. martind

    Let’s talk taps-ceramic vs rubber washer.

    Some years ago you could fit a pair of taps with the understanding that when they eventually began to leak, you could simply replace the rubber washer. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for embracing new technology, but have you ever tried to match up (find) a replacement ceramic insert for the...
  14. S

    Deck Mixer Tap

    I have a kitchen Deck Mixer Tap which continues to drip water or stay on after usage and the only way I can stop the water coming out is to lift the hot leaver upwards. Can anybody tell me how to fix this problem and what washer needs to be replaced or whether it has a cartridge instead. it...
  15. J

    Hello! Can Anyone Help With Strange Problem?

    Hi, I am a newbie, and looking for an answer to what is happening with our water taps/pipes. The single hole kitchen taps (1/4 turn I think they are called) are fairly new. Recently when you turn a tap on in the bathroom the pipes hum and vibrate, and the tap in the kitchen, although turned...
  16. M

    New tap cartidge

    Do they sell a variety of 1/4 turn ceramic disc tap heads at plumbers merchants, suppose there is many different types? Got one to swap as is leaking.
  17. G

    Help finding 2 unusual ceramic disc valve replacements (for old quarter turn taps)

    I have two very leaky taps which I am struggling to find replacement cartridges for. I bought a couple of valves from my local plumbers merchants but they did not fit... I took them back and was advised unless I knew the manufacturer and model it would be an impossible task to find...
  18. M

    Ceramic tap valves

    Ive got a customer who has called that wants to replace the normal valves in his taps with ceramic quarter turn ones as the seats are worn. We don't usually do these types of jobs, so I didnt know if they would work if the seats are worn through. Apparently they have has the seats re-done in...
  19. H

    Tap identification - please help.

    Hi, my hamfisted :nono: has wrecked part of our kitchen mixer tap. Does anyone recognise the model please (photo attached). Following several youtube videos we have dimantled the tap as far as we can at the moment (there are no screws visable) I've included pictures of the internal...
  20. E

    Dripping Franke Triflow tap

    Hi, I have a Franke Triflow (non-ceramic) tap which drips from the cold and the hot taps, but not the filtered tap. I don't know if it is possible to replace the internals, or replace the unit on a like for like basis. I would be reluctant to replace with a different tap as I have loads of...
Top Bottom