The English word ceramics is derived from the Greek word keramos, which means "burned clay." Among ceramics, porcelains are used in electronics and other high-tech industries, so they must meet highly precise specifications and demanding performance requirements. Today, they are called Fine Ceramics to distinguish them from conventional ceramics made from natural materials, such as clay and silica rock. Fine Ceramics are carefully engineered materials in which the chemical composition has been precisely adjusted using refined or synthesized raw powder, with a well-controlled method of forming and sintering.
Also, according to ISO 20507 ("Fine ceramics (advanced ceramics, advanced technical ceramics) - Vocabulary") and JIS R 1600, Fine Ceramics are "produced with precisely controlled chemical compositions, microstructures, configurations and production processes to fulfill intended functions and which are composed mainly of non-metallic, inorganic substances."
Ceramic materials exhibit hardness, excellent heat and corrosion resistance, and electrical insulation properties. Typical examples include china, firebricks, cements and glass. In addition to these properties, Fine Ceramics have many advanced mechanical, electrical, electronic, magnetic, optical, chemical and biochemical characteristics. Today, Fine Ceramics have many roles in fields such as semiconductors, automobiles, telecommunications, industrial machinery and healthcare.
The physical differences between ceramics and Fine Ceramics mainly arise from their raw materials and manufacturing processes. Ceramics are manufactured by mixing, shaping and firing natural minerals including pottery stones, feldspar and clay. In contrast, Fine Ceramics are manufactured using highly purified natural raw materials, artificial raw materials synthesized through chemical processes and other non-naturally occurring compounds. Through a series of precisely controlled, complex processes such as forming, machining, firing and grinding, these compounded raw materials turn into high-value-added products with excellent dimensional accuracy and functional characteristics.
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