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   Alumina / Aluminum Oxide       Alumina or aluminum oxide (Al2O3) is a compound that consists of aluminum and oxygen. Typically, it used in the alpha alumina structural form. In its pure form, alumina is a white ceramic material with high hardness. Fully-dense alumina can be translucent. Alumina is used widely because of its versatility and relatively low cost. Depending on its purity and density, alumina is used to make refractory tubes, industrial crucibles, analytical labware, dielectric substrates, wear components, refractory cements, and abrasives. Alumina’s main drawback is having relatively poor thermal shock resistance, which is due to its higher coefficients of thermal expansion and lower thermal conductivity compared to other pure ceramic materials, such as silicon carbide (SiC).  
   Alumina-Zirconia       Zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) and other zirconia-alumina ceramics are often used in wear applications as an intermediate solution between alumina and zirconia. ZTA offers increased fracture toughness over alumina at a lower cost compared to pure or high zirconia ceramics. Depending on the purity and density, alumina is used for refractory tubes, industrial crucibles, analytical labware, wear components, refractory cements, and abrasives.  
   Aluminum Nitride       Aluminum nitride (AlN) ceramics are compounds of aluminum metal and nitrogen. Aluminum nitride is relatively inert. Its good thermal conductivity, combined with high electrical insulation ability, makes these materials useful as substrates, insulators, and barrier layers in microelectronics applications. 
   Aluminum Silicate (Mica, Sillimanite, etc.)       Ceramics contain or are based upon natural or synthetic aluminosilicate minerals such as sillimanite, fibrolite, or mica. Sillimanite, fibrolite, and mica are aluminum silicate (Al2SiO5) compounds that consist of silicon, aluminum and oxygen.  Sillimanite is also a naturally-occurring mineral that is calcined through processing.  Mica also contains potassium, and is characterized by its layer structure. Mica is fireproof and non-fusing, and can resist temperatures of up to 900° C - depending on the type of mica. Mica also has low heat conductivity, excellent thermal stability, and good dielectric or electrical insulation properties. The major types of mica are muscovite, biotite, and phlogopite. 
   Beryllia / Beryllium Oxide       Beryllia and beryllium oxide (BeO) ceramics provide high thermal conductivity and heat dissapation combined with high dielectric strength, which make BeO useful in electronic heatsinks, substrates,  and packaging applications using miniaturized circuitry.  Beryllia is also fabricated into crucibles, rods, washers, and thermocouple tubing. 
   Boron Carbide       Boron carbide (B4C) has higher hardness than alumina or silicon carbide. Its oxidation product (B2O3) provides a protective skin at high temperatures (> 800oC). Because of its high hardness and wear resistance, boron carbide is applied in low-temperature applications such as grinding wheel dressers, and abrasive blast or water jet nozzles. 
   Boron Nitride       Boron nitride (BN) ceramics are based on compounds of boron and nitrogen. Boron nitride is relatively inert and has good thermal conductivity combined with good electrical insulation, making this material useful in fabricating substrates and insulators in microelectronics applications. BN is polymorphic, meaning that it occurs in a wide variety of crystalline structure forms. BN is available as amorphous or vitreous, pyrolytic, hexagonal, and cubic crystal structures. Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is a super abrasive that is second only to diamond in hardness.  BN is more resistant to oxidation than carbon.  Depending on the purity, density and crystal structure, boron nitride is used for refractory linings, industrial crucibles, arc furnace electrodes, analytical labware, composites, refractory cements, and super abrasives. Hexagonal BN is structurally weak and used as a high temperature lubricant, coating, or release agent. 
   Calcium Aluminate       Calcium aluminate (CaAlO3) refractories are usually derived from calcium aluminate, calcium, or alumina-bearing minerals.  Calcium aluminate is used in refractory cements and shapes, as well as synthetic slag additions for metallurgical operations.    
   Graphite       Graphite is a carbon material with an anisotropic or hexagonal crystal structure. Hexagonal or flake graphite has a weak, platelet structure that flakes or wears away quickly, providing a lubricating action. Pyrolytic graphite (PG) materials have a high density, are layered, and have a highly anisotropic crystal structure. Pyrolytic graphite is a unique form of graphite manufactured by decomposition of a hydrocarbon gas at very high temperature in a vacuum furnace. Generally, its mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties are far superior to conventional hexagonal (flake) structured or bonded materials.  
   Carbon - Amorphous / Glassy       Carbon without a crystalline structure is referred to as amorphous, vitreous, or glassy carbon. 
   Ceria / Cerium Oxide       Ceria, cerium oxide, or ceric oxide is used in ceramics, solid oxide fuel cells, in optical polishing compounds, and as a sensitizer in photosensitive glass. Cerium is also part of the rare earth oxides group. 
   Forsterite       Forsterite is a stoichiometric magnesium orthosilicate (Mg2SiO4) used in applications that require a high coefficient of thermal expansion. Forsterite has desirable electrical insulation properties and is used as a layer on transformer steel sheets. This layer is formed by the reaction of magnesium oxide with the silicon additions of the steel during annealing. Forsterite is also used in bulk form to fabricate insulators. 
   Cordierite       Cordierite (2MgO·2Al2O3·5SiO2) or cordierite porcelain is a magnesium aluminum silicate produced by fusing a mixture of talc, clay, and aluminum oxide. Cordierite and cordierite mineral precursors are also known as magnesium-alumino silicate, dichroite, and iolite. Cordierite has a low coefficient of thermal expansion, high mechanical strength, and low dielectric loss.  Cordierite is commonly fabricated into an insulator or insulating substrate because of its good dielectric properties. Cordierite has excellent thermal-shock resistance. It can withstand a red heat to ice water quench, and then be returned to red heat. High-fire cordierite body will withstand a temperature rise from 70º to 1800º in 80 seconds, followed by an immediate room-temperature air quench. 
   Glass Ceramic       Glass ceramics are ceramics that can be fused and then molded, formed, ground, or machined using conventional glass fabrication techniques. After part fabrication, the glass ceramics' structure is transformed from an amorphous, glassy state to a crystalline ceramic state. MACOR® is widely applied glass ceramic with a fluorine rich glass composition approaching trisilicic fluorphlogopite mica (KMg3AlSi3O10F2). MACOR®is a trademarked proprietary material of Corning Corporation.  Ceran®Ceramat®, Robax®and Zerodur® are widely-applied proprietary glass ceramics from Schott Glass Corporation.  
   Hafnia / Hafnium Oxide       Hafnia or hafnium oxide is similar in nature to zirconia, exhibiting high refractoriness or thermal stability and reasonable elevated temperature strength. Hafnia is useful for crucibles, tubes, and thermocouple sheath is specific applications. Hafnia can be stabilized with calcia (CaO) or yttria (Y2O3) for high-temperature applications. Hafnia has a higher bulk density (9 g/cc) compared to zirconia (5.7 g/cc).  Hafnium and zirconium occur together in nature. Hafnium films are used in optical coating applications where they provide a high-index, low-absorption material in the near-UV to IR regions. 
   Kaolin / Clay Based       Kaolin-based refractories or ceramics use natural kaolin or a mixture of clay and other ceramics such as alumina, calcium aluminate, or silicon carbide.  Kaolin acts as a binder and provides plasticity. It is a hydrous, mineral clay that is based on aluminum silicate [Al2(Si205)(0H)4].  Kaolin is also referred to as clay, anhydrous aluminum silicate, aluminum silicate dihydrate, nacrite, dickite, kaolinite, calcined, kaolinite, china clay, bolus alba, porcelain clay, aluminum, silicate hydroxide, or aluminum silicate (hydrated).  Kaolin’s plate-like structure allows particles in a wet clay mass to slide across each other and maintain plasticity. Kaolin is a white, soft, plastic clay composed primarily of well-ordered kaolinite mineral [Al2Si2O5(OH)4] with minor amounts of quartz, feldspar, and sheet silicate minerals (mica, illite, smectite, and chlorite).  Geologically, there are two types of kaolin deposits, i.e., primary and secondary kaolin. Primary kaolin is formed through the alteration, or kaolinization, of in-situ minerals of feldspar and other aluminum silicates to kaolinite. Secondary kaolin is laid down as sediments, usually in fresh water, far from the place of origin. Various types of secondary kaolin are ball clay, fireclay, or flint clay depending on kaolinite content and their properties.  
   Magnesia / Magnesite       Magnesia ceramics or refractories are based on compounds that consist of magnesium and oxygen. Magnesite or magnesia refractories or minerals are also known as magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, dead burned magnesite, calcined magnesite, periclase, or magnesia clinker. Depending on the origin and processing, magnesia is divided into caustic, dead-burnt, fused, precipitated, sintered, or calcined and synthetic magnesia forms.   The high melting point (2800° C) and heat resistance (1700°C in the reducing and 2300° C in oxidizing atmosphere) of magnesium oxide make it suitable for the production of refractories. Magnesite is the naturally occurring mineral or ore used to produce magnesium oxide based refractories. Magnesite often contains iron, manganese, or other activator elements. Magnesium oxide refractories with a carbon bond are frequently used in the steel industry. Magnesite refractories have good resistance to molten iron and steel.      
   Metal Boride (ZrB2, TiB2)       Metal boride ceramics are compounds of a metal and boron, such as zirconium boride (ZrB2) or titanium boride (TiB2).  Titanium borides show an increase in ductility with an increase in temperature. 
   Mullite       Mullite (3Al2O3-2Si02 or Al6Si2O13) is a compound of aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Mullite can also be viewed as a phase in the alumina-silica binary system. Mullite is a synthetic, fused, or calcined crystalline aluminum silicate produced in electric arc furnaces from alumina and silica.  Mullite usually has an off-white or tan color. Depending on the purity and density, mullite can have superior dielectric and thermal shock properties and resistance to slag and silicate refractory bonds.  Mullite is used for refractory tubes, industrial crucibles, analytical labware, dielectric substrates, wear components, and in refractory cements. Calcining kyanite minerals often derive refractory grade mullite or alumina-mullite mixtures.  
   Porcelain       Porcelain materials are used for both industrial and ornamental applications. Traditional porcelain is made from a mixture of feldspar, clay (kaolin), and flint.  Steatite or cordierite porcelains are commonly used in electrical insulator applications. Many porcelain compositions are based on the K20-Al203-SiO2 or Mg0-Al203-SiO2 ternary systems. 
   REO       Rare earth oxides (REO) ceramics are manufactured from Lanthanide series metal oxides such as lanthana, samaria, ytterbia, and ceria. Rare earth oxide can have unique chemical and surface tension modifying properties. Mixed rare earth compositions consist of rare earth oxides combined with more conventional oxides; oxides of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu. 
   Sapphire       Sapphire is a high-purity and high-density, single-crystalline form of aluminum oxide, which may contain chromia, titania, yttria, or other dopants. Sapphire is usually transparent or translucent.  Sapphire ceramics are used in lasers, substrates, jewel bearings, watch crystals or other optical, wear, electronic, and specialized applications. Ruby, corundum, and topaz are other names for natural or synthetic sapphire. Ruby is chromium-doped sapphire used in optical filters and laser rods.   
   Silica / Fused Silica       Fused silica is a compound of silicon and oxygen. High purity, amorphous, fused silica is a high-performance ceramic with very low expansion, remarkable thermal shock resistance, low thermal conductivity, excellent electrical insulation up to 1000° C, and excellent resistance to corrosion from molten metal and glass. 
   Silicon Carbide       Silicon carbide (SiC) is a compound of silicon metalloid and oxygen. Typically, SiC is used in the alpha silicon carbide structural form. Silicon carbide is a black, high-hardness ceramic that is usually harder than alumina. Depending on the addition of impurities SiC may be green or black in color.  Fully-dense SiC can be transparent (moissanite).  SiC is used widely because of its versatility and relatively low cost. Depending on its purity and density, SiC is used in refractory tubes, industrial crucibles, wafer semi-insulating substrates, wear components, refractory cements, and abrasives.  SiC forms a protective SiO2 skin that prevents further oxidation at very high temperatures in non-reducing atmospheres. Because of its low coefficient of thermal expansion and high thermal conductivity, SiC has a relatively high thermal shock resistance compared to other ceramic materials. 
   Silicon Nitride       Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is a compound that consists of silicon and nitrogen.  It has superior mechanical properties and forms a protective SiO2 skin at high temperatures. Silicon nitride ceramics are difficult to sinter by conventional means because the material dissociates above 1800o C. 
   SiAlON       SiAlON (Al2O3-Si3N4) is an alloy of silicon nitride and aluminum oxide. SiAlON has the combined properties of silicon nitride (high strength, hardness, fracture toughness, and low thermal expansion) and aluminum oxide (corrosion resistance, chemically inert, high temperature capabilities, and oxidation resistance). SiAlON is a superior refractory material for components exposed to high temperatures, mechanical abuse, corrosion, wear, or applications requiring electrical resistance. 
   Silicide (MoSi2)       Silicide ceramics are compounds that consist of a metal and silicon such as molybdenum disilicide (MoSi2). Molybdenum disilicide is commonly used as a resistant heating element in high temperature furnaces. 
   Steatite       Steatite or steatite porcelains are based on hydrated magnesium silicate (3MgO-4SiO2-4H2O) and are similar in composition to naturally-occurring soapstone or mineral talc. Steatite ceramics may also have additions of alumina, calcia, and ferrous oxide.  Resistance heaters and electrical insulators are commonly made of steatite due to the material's low cost, refractoriness, and high electrical resistance at high temperatures. Steatite and steatite minerals are also known as soapstone, massive talc, block steatite, and soapstone silicate. Steatite ceramic is ideal for high frequency, low loss, and high voltage insulation. Steatite has good mechanical properties and low loss electrical qualities. It is ideal for resistor forms, igniters, standoffs, surge arrestors, coil forms, spacers, spark plugs, etc. Steatite is easily fabricated to close tolerances and is much less expensive than alumina ceramic insulators. 
   Titania / Titanate       Titania or rutile minerals (TiO2) are compounds that consist of titanium and oxygen. Titanates are compounds with titanium, an additional cation (Ba, Al, Sr), and oxygen. Examples include BaTiO3. Typically, titania and titanates are used as additions to other refractories, or for their specialized electrical or piezoelectric properties. 
   Tungsten Carbide (WC)       Tungsten carbide (WC) materials are compounds of a tungsten metal and carbon. Metal carbides are also known as hard metals. Metal carbides have high hardness and high hot hardness, which makes them useful for cutting tools, forming dies, and other wear applications. Metal carbides often use cobalt, nickel, or intermetallic metal bonds between grains (cemented carbides), which results in increased toughness compared a pure carbide or ceramic. 
   Yttria       Yttria or yttrium oxide powders are used as additives for strengthening ceramics, forming phosphors, microwave garnets, and lasing garnets. Yttria powders are also used to form a molten, metal-resistant coating on the internal walls of crucibles.  Yttria additions in zirconia ceramics can stabilize the tetragonal phase, providing a transformation toughening mechanism. Yttria is used as a constituent in yttrium-iron garnets for microwave applications and neodybnium-yttrium-aluminum garnets for Nd:YAG laser applications. High temperature superconductors, such as YBa2Cu3O, also utilize yttrium. While not technically within the rare earth group, yttrium oxide shares many of the properties typical of REO materials. 
   Zircon       Zircon is a compound of a zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4, which is found naturally in the form of zircon sand. Zircon has useful refractory properties. 
   Zirconia       Zirconia or zirconium oxide (ZrO2) is a refractory compound of zirconium and oxygen. Zirconia may have additions of calcia, magnesia, or yttria to stabilize the structure into a cubic structure. Zirconia stabilized in the cubic crystal structure avoids cracking and mechanical weakening during heating and cooling. Certain zirconia materials have the ability to transformation toughen (tetragonal to monoclinic phase change) under applied stress. They are often used in wear applications that require improved fracture toughness and stiffness over alumina.  Zirconia ceramics possess excellent chemical inertness and corrosion resistance at temperatures well above the melting point of alumina. Zirconia is more costly than alumina, so it is only used where alumina will fail. Zirconia has low thermal conductivity and is an electrical conductor above 800° C. Zirconia is used to fabricate oxygen sensors or fuel cell membranes because it possesses the unique ability to allow oxygen ions to move freely through the crystal structure above 600° C. Zirconia products should not be used in contact with alumina above 1600°C.  Depending on the purity and density, zirconia is used in refractory tubes or cylinders, industrial crucibles, analytical labware, sensors, wear components, refractory cements, thermocouple protection tubes, furnace muffles, liners, and high temperature heating element supports. 
   Zirconium Phosphate       Ceramics are based on a zirconium phosphate 
   Other       Other unlisted, specialized, or proprietary ceramic types. 
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   Composite / Hybrid?       Composite materials consist of a matrix material reinforced with a stronger or higher modulus second phase.  The second phase may be in the form of particulates, chopped fibers or continuous fibers.  The matrix may consist of a ceramic in CRC or ceramic matrix composites.  Ceramic or reinforcing fibers are commonly chosen with high modulus and/or strength. 
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   Sintered / Fired       Sintered or fired ceramics are homogenous materials in which individual grains or crystals are bonded to each other without the introduction of a foreign material (binder or cement) beyond small traces of dopants or sintering aids. These materials are densified through sintering or firing process. Sintered ceramics are sometime hot-pressed or hot isostatic pressed (HIP) to increase density close to theoretical. 
   Specialty / Other       Other unlisted, specialized, or proprietary material features. 
   Coated       Coated materials use or are available with a glaze (fused glass enamel), metallized coating, plastic coating or other protective coating. The coating may seal porosity, improve water or chemical resistance, or enhance joining to metals or other materials. This category also includes glass materials with an organic coating or film, or ceramic frit coating for spandrel applications. 
   Machinable       Machinable ceramics can be machined in the green, glass or finished state without excessive chipping. Typically, non-machinable ceramics are ground to finished dimensions, often with super abrasive grinding wheels. 
   Modified / Doped       Materials are modified or doped with ions or additions of another ceramic to impart specific properties or improve processing. 
   Porous / Foam       Porous ceramics have a large degree of open or closed internal pores that provide a thermal barrier.  Certain ceramics have intrinsically low thermal conductivity, even in dense forms.  Reticulated foam refractories are useful in filtering molten metals and providing an extremely low density structure for insulation or other applications. 
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   Roofing       Materials are suitable for roofing or roof-tiling applications. 
   Walls       Materials are suitable for use on walls. 
   Flooring       Materials are suitable for flooring or floor-tiling applications. 
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   Abrasive / Erosive Wear Protection       Materials resist damage by abrasion or erosion, and protect underlying surfaces from abrasive or erosive wear. 
   Armor / Ballistic Protection       Materials are used to protect equipment, vehicles and/or personal against damage from blasts, explosions, bullets and other high-speed projectiles. 
   Chemical / Materials Processing       Materials provide high temperature and/or corrosion resistance, making them suitable for chemical-processing applications.  Examples include ceramics or refractories with resistance to molten glass, ceramics, metals, plastics or other materials during milling, firing, calcination, fusion or other processes. 
   Construction & Building / Architectural       Materials are designed or suitable for use in architectural, building, and construction applications. Examples include bricks, fire bricks or tiles.  
   Corrosion Protection       Materials are designed or suitable for corrosive environments, such as the floors or walls of chemical processing plants. 
   Dielectric / Electrical Insulating       Dielectric ceramics have high electrical resistivity (low electrical conductivity) and high dielectric strength. Dielectric strength is the resistance to electrical breakdown under an applied electric field. 
   Electrical / HV Parts       Materials are used to fabricate electrical parts for high voltage or power applications. Examples include insulators, igniters or heating elements. 
   Foundry / Metal Processing       Materials are designed for foundry and metal-processing applications. Ceramic and refractory crucibles, tubes, stoppers, liners, spouts, permanent molds, thermocouple protection tubes, combustion gas heater tubes, submersible heater tubes, die casting stalks/sleeves, and other furnace components are used in foundries for melting and casting aluminum, steel, copper alloys or other metals. 
   Refractory / High Temperatures       Refractory and high-temperature materials are hard, heat-resistant products such as alumina cement, fire clay, bricks, precast shapes, cement or monolithics, and ceramic kiln furniture. Ceramic refractories have high melting points and are suitable for applications requiring wear-resistance, high temperature strength, electrical or thermal insulation, or other specialized characteristics. 
   Structural       Structural applications require ceramic components with a suitable strength, elastic modulus, toughness, and other mechanical properties. Ceramics can have much higher compressive strengths and elastic moduli compared to metals. 
   Thermal Insulation / Fire Proofing       Thermally-insulating ceramics and refractories provide a thermal barrier between components and a hot or cold source. These ceramics and refractory shapes are also useful in providing flame protection and fire-proofing between a burner and the surrounding environment, or between combustion and oxygen sources. 
   Wear Parts (Bearings / Tooling)       Wear-resistant ceramics are used in industrial products such as automotive rings, pump parts, valve seals/seats, faucet discs, papermaking machine dewatering strips, aluminum can dies, wire drawing dies and textile guides. 
   Other       Other unlisted, specialized or proprietary applications. 
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