Minerals and Substances
Most of industrial ceramics are primarily compounds of oxygen (oxides); however there are a number of ceramics that are compounds of nitrogen (nitrides), compounds of carbon and heavy metals (carbides), compounds of silicon (silicides) and compounds of boron (borides). For example, the compound aluminum oxide can be the key component of a ceramic. The most important alumina ceramics is composed of about 85 to 99 percent aluminum oxide.
Key constituent compounds such as oxides can also be chemically amalgamated to produce complex compounds that make up the chief ingredients of a ceramic material. Examples of complex compounds aforementioned include zinc ferrite (ZnFe2O4) and or barium titanate (BaTiO3). Another compound that may be considered as a ceramic is the element carbon in the form of graphite or carbon. Ceramic materials have a greater resistance against corrosion when compared to most metals and plastics.
These materials typically don not react with most gases, liquids, acids and alkaline. Majority of ceramic materials have significantly high melting points; thus certain ceramics can be utilized in situation wherein exposure to extreme high temperatures is necessary. Ceramics also says stable over long periods of time. Majority of ceramics have extremely high melting points which means that even at high temperatures, these materials will retain its structural integrity and maintain its strength even under pressure.
Silicon nitride and silicon carbide in particular can endure temperature changes better than most metals do. Nonetheless, sudden and great changes in temperature can destabilize ceramics. There are a number of ceramic materials that undergo less contraction and or expansion per degree of temperature change; and thus can resist sudden changes in temperature better than other materials.