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 uses naturally occurring raw materials to produce products 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.

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
Group Members
Relevant Undergraduate Courses
  • MATS2008 Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria
  • MATS3002 Fundamentals of Ceramic Processing
  • MATS4002 Design with Advanced Ceramics
  • MATS4004 Fracture Mechanics and Failure Analysis
  • MATS4005 Composites and Functional Materials
  • MATS4007 Engineered Surfaces to Resist Corrosion and Wear
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