Ceramics have remarkable mechanical properties in comparison with metals and plastics. Although all types of ceramics offer exceptionally high levels of compressive strength, other properties such as density, hardness, resistance to wear, impact resistance and bending strength tend to vary.
The hardness of a material is determined by how well it resists deformation. Ceramics are generally very hard materials that very rarely change their shape under stress, right up until breaking point. Aluminium oxide is the second hardest natural material after diamond, and boron carbide and silicon carbide are two other extremely hard synthetic materials.
These different types of ceramics are offered by our members.
Hardness is an essential property in ballistic protection, which is why Al2O3, SiC and B4C are so widely used in the military. Hardness is often associated with resistance to wear, and is therefore sought after in multiple fields of application, such as the medical sector or in mechanics.
Comparative table of properties
|Values at ambient temperature – 20°c||
Resistance to compression(MPa)
Resistance to bending(MPa)
|Alumina (94 to 99.8 % )||3.6 to 3.9||1700 to 2500||250 to 350||350-370||12 to 18||4 to 5|
|Alumina-zirconia composites||4.0||2000||450||350||14||5 to 6|
|Zirconia MgO||5.5||>1700||550 to 700||170 to 200||11 to 12||6 to 8.5|
|Zirconia Y-TZP||6.0||2000 to 2500||900 to 1250||200 to 220||12 to 16||10 to 13|
|Silicon nitride||3.2||2500 to 3000||650 to 900||300 to 315||15 to 16||7.5 to 8|
|Silicon carbide||3.1||2500 to 3900||400 to 550||410||24.5 to 28||4 to 4.6|
|Boron carbide||2.5||>1500||425||440||28||3 to 4|
Acceptable: + ; Good: ++ ; Very good: +++.
These values are for information only and do not constitute a contractual obligation.