Fine Ceramic Technology: The Fundamentals

Japan
The Kyocera Museum of Fine Ceramics

Here, visitors can learn about fine ceramics, starting with the fundamentals of fine ceramic technology; from the history of ceramics, changes in fine ceramic technology, the manufacturing process, and the properties of fine ceramics. Visitors can also view Kyocera Meissen pottery and gemstones which were made with fine ceramic technology.

The Kyocera Museum of Fine Ceramics
What are Fine Ceramics?

In general, substances are either organic or inorganic, and inorganic substances can be broadly divided into metals and non-metals. Non-metallic inorganic substances such as porcelain, cement and brick that are treated at high temperatures during the manufacturing process are also called ceramics. Among ceramics, those which are machined with high precision and have outstanding properties for use in various types of industrial applications, especially in the electronics industry, are referred to as fine ceramics.

What are Fine Ceramics?
History of Ceramics

Throughout history ceramics have been used to make earthenware and bricks. However, as these early ceramics were fired in open air at only about 800 degree Celsius (1,472 degree Fahrenheit), and because glaze was not yet used, they absorbed water and were unsuitable for cooking. Later, with the development of firing in a tunneled kiln at higher temperatures of up to 1,200 degree Celsius (2,192 degree Fahrenheit), and the application of glaze, pottery was created. This was far harder, more water-resistant and subsequently developed rapidly in aesthetic terms.

History of Ceramics
Stoneware

Since stoneware is fired in a large kiln at high temperatures of between 1,200 degree Celsius (2,192 degree Fahrenheit) and 1,300 degree Celsius (2,372 degree Fahrenheit), it does not absorb water and is very hard.

Stoneware
Porcelain

Since porcelain is fired in a climbing kiln at high temperatures of between 1,300 degree Celsius (2,372 degree Fahrenheit) and 1,400 degree Celsius (2,552 degree Fahrenheit), it is non-water absorbent, has white and smooth groundwork and is harder than pottery and stoneware. It has a wide range of applications and has moved toward perfection as a material for vessels.

Porcelain
Typical Raw Materials of Fine Ceramics

Fine ceramic raw materials can be divided into oxide-type and non-oxide-type substances based on their fundamental elements. Alumina is a typical example of an oxide-type ceramic and was the subject of product development from a comparatively early stage. It is now widely used in electronics and other industrial fields. Also, non-oxide type silicon nitride and silicon carbide are newly developed materials being marketed as engineering ceramics.

Typical Raw Materials of Fine Ceramics
Typical Examples of Fine Ceramic Processing

The forming process of fine ceramics uses extremely sophisticated technology that depends on prior calculations of shrinkage in the firing process to ensure the precise dimensions of the finished product. Various forming methods are used in the processing stage including extrusion, press forming, injection and tape forming.

Typical Examples of Fine Ceramic Processing
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