All of us have dropped drinking glasses and mugs before and seen them break into many pieces on the floor.

Sphinx and pyramids

This begs the question: how can such brittle materials be used in engineering?

Ceramics have been used in civil structures for centuries. They are used in many ancient structures that have survived to the present day - the great pyramid of Giza, the great Wall of China. These structures show that ceramics are very resistant to corrosion and wear, and can be used in many applications, even though they may be brittle.