The Long Journey Of Ceramics

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Spirit of Pottery | Comments Off on The Long Journey Of Ceramics

The Long Journey Of Ceramics

At our guild, the artists are ready to work on any type of project. When they are given the design or drawing, they set to work on it immediately. Often clients stay with the initial stages to help with the design doubts that may arise. Recently we had this order on making ceramic finger pieces that depicted nail art. The client, a nail art professional wanted the work to be displayed in her salon. She had detailed drawings on the type and form of the fingers and nail designs she wanted. While she was with us, she wanted to know more about how ceramics were made.

Ceramic evolution

Technology has made it possible for the ceramic industry to grow in leaps and bounds due to the extensive amount of knowledge that it has enabled to be accessible. With newer materials and methods the handling, making and finishing techniques have been honed and perfected. One instance of the rapid development in ceramics is the use of transistor in electronics.  The size has become so minute, but at the same time holds a vast amount of features that is quite unbelievable.

Advancements in Ceramics

Ceramics have undergone tremendous amount of changes with the way metal alloys have been developed. New materials that can operate under very high temperature and speed and have longer life and low maintenance are now possible, Metals have tensile strength, ductility, abundance and low production cost, while ceramics are brittle. With the technological advances, it is now possible to produce a blend of the two with the best characteristics of both in the blend. The resultant form is the tougher ceramic systems that are in use now like nitride ceramics.

Ceramic characteristics

The ceramics we use today are of intensive value in all engineering application and are considered as nontraditional. The traditional ceramics include brick, porcelain, earthenware etc. The advanced ceramics have metallic characteristics, making them perform high and be cost effective.  The technical ceramics include alumina, zirconia that are oxides and non-oxides like nitrides, borides, carbides and silicide and composites that are blends of oxides and non-oxide metals.

These have chemical inertness, high strength and great dimensional stability. The ceramic and composite blend is tough and has variable electrical, thermal conductivity and a complex manufacturing method, which makes it very expensive. The oxide forms are inert and used in electrical insulation and the alumina variety costs less while the zirconia is expensive. The low oxide ceramics are hard, inert, have high thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity, and are expensive.

We use metal clay for our models, which has ceramics blended with metal to enable better reproduction of the shape and design we want. The material has longer shelf life and very little wastage making it cost effective too. The finger models were made according to the client’s specifications and she was very happy and excited about having them on display at her salon and expected to get more customers just because of them. She mentioned that hers was a well-paid job that gave her much satisfaction.