Materials In Today's World



As we continue to explore how the crystal structure of a material can directly affect their properties, we will turn our attention to ceramics. As an example of the role of crystal structure, noncrystalline ceramics and polymers normally are optically transparent; the same materials in crystalline (or semicrystalline) form tend to be opaque or, at best, translucent. In this lesson, we will continue our discussion of how structure can affect materials properties and look at some materials applications of ceramic materials.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the early development of ceramics.
  • Identify unit cells for sodium chloride, cesium chloride, zinc blende, diamond cubic, fluorite, and perovskite crystal structures.
  • Define cation and anion.
  • Name three forms of carbon and note at least two distinctive characteristics for each.
  • Describe the process that is used to produce glass-ceramics, characteristics, and list several commercial applications.
  • Name the two types of clay products and give examples of each.
  • Cite important requirements that commonly must be met by refractory ceramics and abrasive ceramics.

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson 7 will take us 1 week to complete. Please refer to Canvas for specific due dates.

Lesson Roadmap
To Read Pages 177 to 215 (Chapter 9 and 10) of Materials for Today's World, Custom Edition for Penn State University (custom e-book)
To Watch Ceramics: The Secret Life of Materials
To Do Lesson 7 Quiz


If you have general questions about the course content or structure, please post them to the General Questions and Discussion forum in Canvas. If your question is of a more personal nature, feel free to send a message to the instructor through Canvas email. Email, discussion boards, internal Canvas messages are checked daily.