MTE4592 - Advanced ceramics and applications - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Nick Birbilis


Dr Gagan Kaur

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)






The first part of this unit will focus on structural ceramics including zirconium oxides, silicon nitride, sialons, silicon carbide and ceramic particulate and fibre reinforced composites, their processing and applications. The crystal structures of the different materials and their properties will be correlated. Examples include cutting tools, wear parts and advanced refractories. The second part of the unit will introduce functional ceramics, predominantly those used in electrical or electronic applications, their microstructure and nanostructure. Examples include thermistors, varistors, capacitors, multi-layer substrates, piezoelectric and electrooptic transducers, and gas sensors.


To develop:

  1. A knowledge of the fabrication methods, property measurements, sintering and microstructure of a range of advanced ceramics and an understanding of how these factors affect the mechanical, physical and electrical properties of the materials.
  2. An understanding of the different classes of functional ceramics used for example as electrical, optical, wear resistant and gas sensor materials
  3. An understanding of the criteria for selection of advanced ceramics for various applications. An analysis of the reason(s) for the selection of a particular material for a particular application
  4. A detailed practical appreciation of the fabrication and testing of several structural and functional ceramics.


Laboratory work: 15%

Two written assignments: 20%

Examination (2 hours): 65%

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures/tutorials, 8 hours of private study per week and 9 hours laboratory classes per semester

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study