Ceramic materials have been used since the early history of mankind. The first figures were formed from ceramic materials and hardened by baking over 24,000 years ago. Other discoveries prove the manufacture of bricks (approx. 14,000 years ago) or the production of practical ceramic vessels (7,000 to 8,000 years ago).
To this day, ceramics have proven their worth in a multitude of applications. Continuous development means that ceramics are also of interest for new applications which require strength, wear resistance, corrosion resistance and temperature stability – and, at the same time, a low specific density.
Ceramic materials are components of plants for metallurgy, chemistry and energy production. Due to their great strength and wear resistance they are used as metal-working tools. The automotive industry uses them, for example, as sparkplug insulators, rocker arm coatings, port liners in the hot area of the exhaust manifold and lightweight valves in the motor. Their electrically insulating, magnetic, dielectric, semiconducting, superconducting properties are used for the production of functional ceramics in the electrical industry.
The mechanical and physical characteristics of ceramic materials can be manipulated by, among other things, selective adjustment of the microstructure.