Ceramic Engineering

Ceramics play an important in our day to day life, some of the items that include ceramic are glass light bulbs, jet engines, computers, cars, many household appliances, Fiber-optic devices, microprocessors and solar panels.

What is Ceramic Engineering ?

Ceramic Engineering is the branch of Engineering that deals with creating an object from inorganic and non-metallic materials.

Top Colleges in India providing Ceramic Engineering Courses:

If a person is working in a Public or Private Sector or if the person is a Diploma Holder, can he pursue Ceramic Engineering?

For the benefit of the working people in private and public sector or diploma holders who want to pursue Ceramic Engineering Indian Institute of Ceramics conduct Associate Membership Examination of the Institute of Engineers (AMIE)

What work do the Ceramic Engineers do?

The work involved for a ceramic engineer is to create or develop new products using the existing ceramic materials. There are several steps involved in the process of making ceramic products and improving any of the step increases the productivity of the process.

How will the Ceramic Engineers get a job in Public Sector Organizations?

To get employed in the public sector, the ceramic engineers have to give several government examinations like UPSC, PSC or SSC.

Do the Public Sector Organizations recruit the Ceramic Graduates?

Major public sector organizations recruiting these graduates are:

  • Indian Space Research Organization

  • Defense Metallurgical Research Laboratory

  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

  • Institute for Plasma Research

  • Public sector banks, Factories and Plants

What are the job opportunities available for Ceramic Engineers/Technologists?

There are several job opportunities which are available for Ceramic engineers/technologists in public and private sectors both. Some of the job profiles are:

  • Ceramic Technologist

  • Ceramic Designer

  • Administrator

  • Production worker

  • Technician

  • Entrepreneur

  • Interior Designer

  • Exterior Designer

  • Construction Manager

  • Repairer

  • Researcher

  • Inspector

  • In manufacturing units, a fresh ceramic engineering graduate get recruited as a technical management trainee/junior or assistant technologist. With experience, they get the positions like administrators, project supervisors, sales engineers, department heads, technical consultants etc.

  • Engineers who are in Research & Development with doctoral qualification can get job opportunities in laboratories and Universities.

  • Sophisticated telescope lenses, ceramic fillings for teeth, materials that are required in space technology, ceramic spark plugs which are used in aerospace industry, etc. are some of the products which are used by the astronauts, dentists and astronomers.

  • Other work areas were ceramic engineers get employed are aircraft, watercraft, heating and cooling systems, industrial equipment and machinery, food industries, packaging science, industrial and transmission electricity, guided light wave transmission etc.

  • Those involved in arts can also work with ceramic materials to produce ceramic artifacts in porcelain, clay, tiles etc.

What are the skills required to become a Ceramic Engineer?

There are few skills that are required to become Ceramic Engineer. They are as follows:

  • The candidate must have strong knowledge on the various process involved with different types of ceramic substances.

  • They must have strong foundation in basic sciences.

  • They must be innovative in their work.

  • They must have problem-solving attitude.

  • The candidate must have good analytical skill.

  • They must have good team spirit.

  • He/she must have the ability to understand the demand of the market.

  • They must have good communication skills and are able to convey their ideas.

Do any Universities provide Distance Learning Courses?

There are few Universities where Ceramic Engineering can be done through Distance learning. They are as follows:

  • Distance Education Academy, Noida, Uttar Pradesh – M.Tech. Ceramic Engineering

  • Indian Institute of Ceramics, Kolkata

Any Specialized Course which can be done in Ceramic Technology?

  • A specialized course can be done from Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata, College of Ceramic Technology, Kolkata which helps a ceramic engineer to excel in his career.

How to obtain a degree in Ceramic Engineering?

  • To pursue a career in ceramic engineering or ceramic technologists, one must have a degree in ceramic engineering.

  • The candidate needs to clear their 10+2 examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics with good percentage of marks to complete the 4 year programme (B Tech.) in Ceramic Engineering. They have to clear the entrance examinations on the national or state level or as per the rules of the institute for admission.

  • There are several polytechnics in India that has 3 years Diploma in Ceramic Engineering. The eligibility criteria to get admission for diploma programme is, the candidate need to pass their standard 10th examination with at least 50% marks.

  • Interested candidates can also pursue 2 years M.E./M.Tech. after completing their graduation in Ceramic Engineering/ Chemical/ Mechanical/ Electrical/ Manufacturing or other related field. The admissions are based on the marks obtained at the graduation level. There are some institutes, where they select the candidate’s basis on the marks obtained on GATE score.

  • One can pursue research after completion of PhD.

What is the scope of Ceramic Engineering in India?

In India, the ceramics industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approx. 15% with several job opportunities. With the advancement of technology it has expanded the applications of ceramic engineering.

What are the job responsibilities of a Ceramic Engineer?

The job responsibilities of a Ceramic Engineer include:

  • They use the principles from chemistry, physics and material science for analyzing, designing, manufacturing and maintaining ceramic systems.

  • The Ceramic engineer has to work on varieties of products like glassware and electronic components to nuclear reactors and linings for blast furnaces and jet engines.

  • With the advanced technology, the ceramic engineers try to improve the existing ceramics through heat and fire resistance.

  • They try to work on the new uses for ceramic products like using ceramics in miniaturized circuits and human bone and teeth replacements.

  • There are many ceramic engineers who work in the production process. To make ceramics, they direct the processing of the natural raw minerals and synthetic materials.

  • Ceramic engineers also work in sales and show customers the way to use ceramics.

What is the salary structure of a Ceramic Engineer ?

The salary structure of a Ceramic Engineer depends upon the candidate’s educational qualifications, experience, area of employment, companies and the institutions etc.

  • The starting salary of a fresh ceramic engineer graduate is approx. Rs. 8,000/- to 15,000/- per month.

  • An experienced engineer, gets a salary approx. Rs. 40,000/- to Rs. 50,000/- per month

  • An expert at management level earns approx. Rs. 60,000/- and more.

  • The starting pay scale of a lecturer in a college is approx. Rs. 12,000/- to 13,000/- per month.

  • In government sector, the initial basic salary is approx. Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 9,000/- per month plus other perks and benefits like life, health, and accident insurance and retirement benefits on a contributing or employer-paid basis. Some employers also offer stock options; profit sharing plans or pays annual bonuses.

Advantage of Ceramics over other materials

As ceramics are heat resistant, they can be used for many tasks for which materials like metal and polymers are unsuitable.

There are many advantageous properties of Ceramics such as high hardness, high durability, high thermal and electrical resistance, corrosion resistance, less dense or lightweight and high temperature resistance. One of the main reasons why ceramics is economical and advantageous is that its raw materials are inexpensive and abundant in nature.

Ceramic Products

Ceramic materials are part of our daily lives. Traditional ceramic products like ceramic figurines, decorative earthenware, kitchen wares, toilet bowls, floor tiles, wall tiles etc. have been widely used all over the globe and is present in almost every household. Silicate bottles and glasses, cements, devices and T.V. components such as resistors, capacitors etc. are common products which have been part of our lives. These are the ceramic products that we did not know are made out of ceramic raw materials.

Categorization of Ceramics

It can be categorized into two main courses:

  • Traditional

  • Advance ceramics.

Traditional ceramics:-

It comprises of pottery, porcelain making, brick & tile manufacturing, cements processing and glass products which are silicate based.

Advance ceramics

Advance ceramics on the other hand include application of lightweight ceramics in modern military armors such as Silicon Carbide and Boron Carbide, nitrides, non-silicate glasses and several other materials.

Some of the Applications of Ceramic Products:

Ceramic Power Line Insulators

Insulators are used to isolate conductors from other components to prevent forthcoming and unnecessary damages on devices. Plastic, rubber and leather are the most commonly known insulating materials. These materials are effective insulating materials as they are non-conductive. However, insulators could become conductors when excessive amount of large voltage are applied in it – which is known as the breakdown voltage of insulator. Thus engineers continually developed materials which could durably withstand high voltage in a long run. One of the best insulating materials which are being used today especially in overhead power line are ceramic materials.

There are mainly two types of overhead power line insulators;

pin type insulators which basically support conductors above structures and the

suspension type of insulators which support hanging conductors in structures.

Materials used as insulators in high-voltage power transmission need to have high dielectric strength such as glass, porcelain and composite polymer materials. Although glass has higher dielectric strength than porcelain, the cold surface of glasses collects dews especially when humid air is in contact with it.

(4, 7, 8) Pin Type Insulators; (5, 6, 9) Suspension Type Insulators

Generally, insulators have two main functions; to isolate conductors and to separate conductors from other conductors. Most ceramic materials possessed high dielectric strength. So generally, ceramic materials have very low electrical conductivity due to its ionic-covalent bonding, which makes it good electrical insulators. Additionally, ceramic materials have low thermal conductivity which also supports its insulating capability as electrical conductivity is also influenced by temperature. This is because the movements of the electric charge or charge excitation are primarily caused by thermal energy.

Ceramic Floor Tiles & Wall Tiles

Floor tiles and wall tiles are used as interior and exterior designs in our households, on industrial buildings and other public structures. Ceramic tiles have been the most common and the most popular design that we can notice on every household or buildings.

Most of the ceramic industries primarily manufactured floor and wall tiles because they’re economical yet profitable and aren’t complicated to make. The raw materials used in making these ceramic products are abundantly available in nature. Raw materials such as clay, feldspar and silica are the main component in making ceramic tiles.

Reference: The Manufacturing Process of Ceramic Floor Tiles & Wall Tiles

Applications of Ceramics in our modern life

1. Tiles

Our roofs, bathrooms and kitchens are covered in ceramic tiles. Ceramic can be glazed with different colours and printed with any design, so tiles can be tailored to different people’s tastes. They are tough and easy to wipe clean once glazed which is perfect for use in the kitchen or bathroom!

2. Cookware

Majority of crockery and pots are made from ceramic. From unglazed to glazed, mortar and pestles to the mug that holds your tea, ceramic is a staple material in the kitchen. Ceramic knives have also become common, they are one of the hardest knives you can buy yet are extremely lightweight!

3. Bricks

Our homes are made from brick and are held together by cement, both of which are types of ceramic. Without ceramic, what would we use instead to create the four walls of our homes?

4. Toilets

Sanitary ware such as toilets, sinks and bath tubs are made from ceramic. Ceramic can be glazed and fired so that it becomes non-porous, perfect for sanitary ware which gets used every day and is, of course, in contact with lots of water!

5. Space

NASA’s Space Shuttle had thousands of heat-resistant tiles protecting its exterior from overheating due to friction generated by Earth’s atmosphere. Future reusable space planes are expected to use a new, slimline ceramic material that will enable it to be both more aerodynamic and withstand temperatures up to 2400°C. Composite ceramics are also used to create the nose cones of spacecraft!

6. Cars

Ceramic can help to decrease pollution and capture toxic materials. Today’s catalytic converters are made with ceramic and help convert harmful fumes into non-toxic gases, therefore having a huge benefit on the environment. Ceramic components can be found in almost every aspect of a vehicle and are a major contributor to advances in hybrid and eco-friendly vehicles.

7. Artificial Bones and Teeth

Toughened ceramic is used in hip replacements and is designed to be porous so that it can stimulate natural bone growth around the artificial joint. You will also find ceramic fillings for your teeth where the ceramic is chemically bonded to your tooth making it extremely strong.

8. Electronic Devices

Televisions contain ceramic insulators, computers have silicon chips and the electric motors in your vacuum cleaner or blender are also made using ceramic!

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