Science

Ceramics

Ceramics is a branch of materials science and engineering that involves the fabrication of a wide range of products using non-metallic and inorganic materials.

The field falls largely into two areas:

  • Conventional ceramics is based on naturally occurring raw materials used to produce materials such as glass, porcelain, bricks, tiles, refractories and cement.
  • Advanced ceramics requires high-purity synthetic chemicals to produce products such as semiconductors; superhard materials for machining, wear resistance, and military armour; fibre optics for telecommunication; many types of functional ceramics for specific applications, such as piezoelectrics for sonars and speakers as well as ferrites for data storage; and many types of optical devices, such as lens coatings.

Australian industry traditionally has maintained a strong presence in the large-scale manufacture of conventional ceramics because these products are used in construction and domestic applications. However, Australia also has numerous, typically smaller, companies that produce highly specialised ceramics for high-demand applications.

Ceramics Group Research Interests:

  • Wear of dental enamel and prosthetic ceramics
  • Fatigue of lead-free piezoceramics
  • Non-destructive strength prediction of piezoceramics
  • Actuation mechanisms in lead-free piezoceramics
  • High-conductivity polymer matrix nanocomposites in clean energy applications
  • Modification colour of coal fly ash from grey-black to white
  • Recycling of coal - fly ash in thermoplastics, thermosets and structural applications
  • Multi-length scale analysis of actuation mechanisms in electro-mechanical ceramics
  • Ferroelectric thin films
  • Hard nitride-based coatings
  • Mineral-biochar interactions and interfaces
  • Photocatalytic oxides
  • Photochromic oxides
  • Bioceramics
  • Fly ash utilisation
  • Geopolymers
  • Waste utilisation in structural clay products
  • Cements and mortar
  • Refractories
  • Piezoelectric ceramics
  • Sol-gel processing of functional ceramics
  • Defect engineering and interfacial engineering of oxides
  • Fly ash reinforced ceramics
  • Recycling of milled carbon fibres in structural composites

If you are interested in pursuing a research degree in Ceramics, you can click here for more details including potential supervisors.