MSE440 : Ceramic Materials

Chemistry, structure, processing, micro-structure and property relationships and their applications in the design and production of ceramic materials.

Prerequisites: MSE350
Cognizant Faculty: Laine, Halloran, Pan, Kieffer

Course Topics:

  1. Crystal chemistry--structure and bonding in materials.
  2. Origins of feedstock materials--recovery and processing of materials from mineral sources, used in processing ceramics.
  3. Production of powders by chemical and physical means.
  4. Forming shapes by powder processing.
  5. The effects of additives on forming processes.
  6. Transforming powder shapes into monolithic ceramic shapes.
  7. Property optimization in finished ceramic shapes.
  8. Non-traditional ways of forming ceramic shapes including thin films, fibers, nanosized powders, etc.
  9. Basic methods of processing composite materials.
  10. Basic methods of producing electronic and optic

Course Objectives:

To teach students the:

  1. fundamental principles of crystal chemistry and how atomic arrangements in materials affect macroscopic materials properties.
  2. general sources of raw materials used to produce the feedstock materials used in the ceramics industry and how to correlate cost and purity with the economics that drive the choice of selected starting materials for processing specific ceramics with specific target properties.
  3. general methods of using/processing feedstock materials to produce ceramic powders, thin films or fibers.
  4. general methods of processing ceramic powders and polymer precursors to produce green shapes.
  5. types of additives used and the scientific basis for their use in optimizing the processing of green shapes.
  6. principle methods of transforming green shapes into controlled density, controlled porosity ceramic shapes.
  7. general techniques used to optimize properties (mechanical, optical, electronic) in the final ceramic shapes.
  8. potential alternatives to traditional ceramic processing for producing advanced technology shapes (e.g. fibers)

Course Outcomes:

  1. To fully optimize the chemical and phase purity of a given ceramic powder, can you describe what processing methods are available?
  2. Given a desired microstructure, what starting materials would you choose and how would you process these starting materials to achieve this type of microstructure?
  3. Given a new ceramic material, what processing approaches are available for making a given ceramic shape?
  4. Given a new ceramic material, how would you characterize its mechanical, electronic, optical properties?
  5. Given a desired ceramic product, performance characteristics and cost; how would you go about producing this product?
  6. Given a certain set of processing conditions, how would you optimize final properties after sintering is complete?
  7. What methods would you use to produce oxide ceramic fibers, nonoxide fibers?
  8. How are composites processed, what utility do they offer and what various types of composites can be made?

Assessment Tools:

  1. Six or seven homework assignments (5 % of grade)
  2. Two in-class tests including final (50 % of grade)
  3. One design proposal on a selected topic (45% of grade)