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Ceramics

Empa ceramics specialist Jakob Kübler, with some of the materials used in the brake rotor ...

When it comes to making cars more energy-efficient – whether they're battery- or gas-powered – getting their weight down is one of the best things you can do. Unfortunately, the cast iron brake rotors currently used in most vehicles are quite heavy. Lighter ceramic rotors certainly do exist, although their high price mostly limits their application to expensive sports cars. Soon, however, ceramic-coated aluminum rotors may be a cost-effective lightweight alternative for economy cars.  Read More

Scott's ITD ProTec fabric incorporates strands of carbon fiber and a matrix of ceramic dot...

If you frequently ride a bike on asphalt, then it’s entirely possible that sooner or later you’re going to wipe out and end up with some nasty skin abrasions. While such "road rash" can occur just about anywhere on the body, the shoulders and hips are particularly prone to it, as they’re the parts of the body upon which cyclists quite often end up sliding across the road. In order to help protect those areas, Scott Sports has announced a new line of cycling clothing made to protect against road rash ... with a little help from ceramics and carbon fiber.  Read More

Lawrence Livermore Engineer Xiaoyu 'Rayne' Zheng studies a macroscale version of the unit ...

Imagine materials strong enough to use in building airplanes or motor cars, yet are literally lighter than air. Soon, that may not be so hard to do because a team of researchers from MIT and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed new ultra-lightweight materials that are as light as aerogel, but 10,000 times stiffer, and may one day revolutionize aerospace and automotive designs.  Read More

Unwanted toilets may soon have new life, as a component of cement  (Photo: Shutterstock)

An international team of researchers has discovered a potential new use for discarded toilets, along with other ceramic waste such as basins, stoneware and bricks. It turns out that they can be made into a more eco-friendly form of cement.  Read More

The synthetic mother-of-pearl ceramic (left) and its natural counterpart

Although you may know it simply as the shiny iridescent stuff on the inside of mollusk shells, mother-of-pearl (or nacre) is a remarkable material. It allows those shells, which otherwise consist almost entirely of brittle calcium carbonate, to stand up to the abuses of life in the sea. Now, a team led by the Laboratoire de Synthèse et Fonctionnalisation des Céramiques (CNRS) in Paris, has copied the structure of nacre to create a ceramic material that's almost 10 times stronger than conventional ceramics.  Read More

The new coating protects airplane engine components from heat damage, while lasting longer...

The higher the temperature at which an aircraft engine is able to run, the more efficiently it uses fuel. In order to run at those high temperatures, the metal components of airplane engines are presently treated with heat-shielding coatings. Scientists at Sweden's University West, however, are developing a new such coating that is said to be far more effective than anything presently used – it could extend the service life of engines by 300 percent.  Read More

Don't throw those eggshells away – they could be made into ceramics (Photo: Shutterstock)

According to the US Department of Agriculture, every year approximately 455,000 tons (412,769 tonnes) of discarded eggshells must be transported and disposed of in the US alone. Now, however, scientists at the University of Aveiro in Portugal have developed a method of using such eggshell waste in the production of ceramic goods.  Read More

'William,' a blue faience hippopotamus of the 12th Dynasty, in the Metropolitan Museum of ...

We like to think of technology as always being forward looking. It’s supposed to be about nanoparticles and the Cloud, not steam engines and the telephone exchange. But every now and again the past reaches out, taps the 21st century on the shoulder and says, “Have a look at this.” That’s what happened to Professor Stephen Hoskins, Director of the University of West England, Bristol's Centre for Fine Print Research. He is currently working on a way of printing 3D ceramics that are self-glazing, thanks to a 7,000-year old technology from ancient Egypt.  Read More

Designer Bernat Cuni made one cup a day for thirty days  (Image: Cunicode)

Prolific Spanish designer Bernat Cuni has come up with a whimsical way to help bring the relatively new 3D ceramic printing process into the mainstream. Recently, he unleashed his creative energies on what he termed the "coffee cup-a-day" project to highlight the versatility and immediacy of what is also known as "additive manufacturing" - the layer by layer construction of tangible objects from digital models. The results, while not necessarily the most utilitarian, could be just the thing for the coffee drinker who has it all.  Read More

The ceramic speaker is thinner than the music player feeding it tunes

Design company Nendo has joined forces with Masagasu Mitsuke to create a super thin ceramic speaker set for a project aimed at injecting some new life into traditional Japanese crafts. Normally hidden away in such things as LED lighting, the ceramic substrate used for the creation is boldly brought out into the open for a striking piece of functional art.  Read More

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