Ceramics have been used by humans for more than 30,000 years with new discoveries and uses found every day. This broad and dynamic material can be classified as traditional: clay products, silicate glass, and cement, or as advanced referring to ceramics consisting of carbides (SiC), pure oxides (Al2O3), nitrides (Si3N4), non-silicate glasses and many others. Ceramics may also be used in association with metals or polymers to create compounds and composite materials.
It would almost be easier to name areas where ceramics have not had an impact as the use of the material is so far reaching. Ceramics research has enabled space exploration through the development of heat refracting tiles, thermal barriers, and advanced communications tools. Ceramic tiles, lenses, transducers, filters, and sensors can be found in a wide array of consumer goods, automotive products, medical and industrial applications. In just the past century, ceramics research has enabled every major communications breakthrough from radio and television, to the portable mobile devices we enjoy today.