Introduction to Fine Ceramics
What are Fine Ceramics?
Ceramics vs. Fine Ceramics
Fine Ceramic Production Process
Types of Fine Ceramics
History of Fine Ceramics
Frequently Asked Questions
Characteristics of Fine Ceramics
Learning About Fine Ceramics
Fine Ceramics in Daily Life
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  HOME > Introduction to Fine Ceramics > What are Fine Ceramics? 
What are Fine Ceramics?

The English word ceramics is derived from the Greek word keramos, which means "burned clay."

The term originally referred to china almost exclusively. Nowadays, however, we often refer to non-metallic, inorganic substances such as refractories, glass and cements as ceramics. For this reason, ceramics are now regarded as "non-metallic, inorganic substances that are manufactured through a process of molding or shaping and exposure to high temperatures."

Among ceramics, porcelains are used in electronics and other high-tech industries, so they must meet highly precise specifications and demanding performance requirements. Today, they are called Fine Ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”)* to distinguish them from conventional ceramics made from natural materials, such as clay and silica rock. Fine Ceramics are carefully engineered materials in which the chemical composition has been precisely adjusted using refined or synthesized raw powder, with a well-controlled method of forming and sintering.

Also, according to ISO** 20507 ("Fine ceramics - Vocabulary") and JIS*** R 1600, Fine Ceramics are "produced with precisely controlled chemical compositions, microstructures, configurations and production processes to fulfill intended functions and which are composed mainly of non-metallic, inorganic substances."

Image : Fine Ceramics / Cement / Pottery / Glass / Refractories / Ceramics / Organic Materials / Metallic Materials / Ceramics are one of three major industrial materials Image : Highly refined materials / Precisely adjusted compositions / Well-controlled production processes / Fine Ceramics / Structural materials / Electronic materials / Optical materials / Biomaterials / Magnetic materials / Basic Concept of Fine Ceramics

* The Pioneer of “Fine Ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”)”
The term “Fine Ceramics” came into common use in the 1970s. Kyocera Corporation, founded as Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd., has primarily manufactured ceramics for the electronics industry since its inception in 1959. Founder Dr. Kazuo Inamori has maintained that “unlike conventional ceramics, Fine Ceramics possess high added-value in industrial applications. Their value should not be assessed by volume and they must be ‘fine’ physically and structurally.” He was therefore the first person to use the term “Fine Ceramics” in the contemporary sense.

Reference: Prefatory note of Ceramics 1973-6, The Ceramic Society of Japan

** The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international-standard-setting body comprised of representatives from a variety of national standards organizations.

*** Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) are the standards applied to industrial activities in Japan. The standardization process is managed by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee and published through the Japanese Standards Association.
The term "Fine Ceramics" is interchangeable with "advanced ceramics," "technical ceramics" and "engineered ceramics." Use varies by region and industry.
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