What Are They:
Ceramics are solids made by baking them in a
kiln, hard and tough and they have many uses, such as toilets, mugs, and
pottery. Composites are made of two or more types of material. Carbon Fibre is
made of polyester, vinyl ester, and nylon.
Examples of These:
Composites: Carbon Fibre, MDF, Fibreglass.
Ceramics: Pottery, glass, cement.
Ceramics are hardened by heat, are strong, and
are very good against friction.
Composites are lightweight, fire resistant, and
have a high strength to weight ratio.
Why are They Useful:
Ceramics are useful for bricks, as they do not
chip easily, and are strong under compression.
Composites are useful for waterproof clothing, as
nylon is tough, lightweight, and importantly waterproof. It does not let water
vapour through, so keeps sweat in.
Reasons for Properties:
Ceramics have high melting points as you need a
great amount of energy to break apart atoms in them. The bonds between them are
strong, so they are hard. They are hard because they are baked in a kiln,
giving bonds energy to strengthen.
Composites are strong, as they are made of many
materials, they are light because they are made from light materials, and they
are fire resistant because you can add in a fire resistant material to the
Carbon Fibre Vs Steel:
Carbon Fibre is lighter than steel, therefore has
already has an advantage over it. When tested, steel yields to the torque of a
generator at 1376 NM, yet carbon fibre yields at around 4700. This makes it an
obvious choice over steel in racing cars, boats, and other items like these.
Glass-Fibre-Reinforced Aluminium (or GLARE) is a
composite made from thin layers of aluminium, between layers of glass fibre. It
has better damage tolerance to normal sheet aluminium, better fire and
corrosion resistance, and is much lighter. This gives it an advantage over
aluminium, and can be substituted for it instead in some cases.