There are many common ceramics that are used in civil structures. Some of the earliest building materials were ceramics. Stone is a ceramic, as are bricks, and tiles.

historic brick wall

Bricks, and tiles are typically made from clay. Clay is a complex mixture of silicates. We will discuss silicates in more detail in a later section.

Stone and bricks are ideal for use as building materials as they are very strong in compression. The reason for the large compressive strength of ceramics lies in their atomic structure.