Volume resistivity (electrical properties)

Advanced ceramics offer superior dielectric properties compared to those of metals and plastics. Advanced ceramics are insulating materials: they do not conduct electrical currents. This physical property is called resistivity. Other electrical properties, such as dielectric strength, relative permittivity (or dielectric constant) and the loss angle, vary from one ceramic to the next.


Resistivity is the ability of a material to oppose the flow of electric current. The SI unit of electrical resistivity is the ohm-metre and corresponds to the resistance measurement of a test piece of a given cross-section and length. High-purity alumina advanced ceramics (≥94 %) have the highest resistivity values (>1.10 14), followed by aluminium nitride (> 1.10 12), sintered silicon nitride (>1.10 10) and zirconia (> 1.10 9). Silicon carbide is the least insulating ceramic with resistivity of around 1.10 6, or even less for certain forms of CVD-SiC. Quartz and Macor glass-ceramics are better insulators, with resistivity values of over 1.10 16.

Application markets

The business areas where these materials are used are varied: electronics, defence, medical instrumentation, energy, transport, aeronautical and spatial, etc.

Comparative table of properties

Comparative table of electrical properties
Values at ambient temperature – 20°c


Dielectric strength (KV/mm) Dielectric loss factor (tan ɗ)

Dielectric constant



(94 to 99.8 % )

>1012 to 1015 17 to 40


to 3.10-5
9.5 to 11
Aluminium nitride


to 1013
16 to 20 0,5.10-3  
Sintered silicon nitride

> 1010

to 1011
15 - -


to 1018
25 to 40 10-3 to 10-4 3.7

These values are for information only and do not constitute a contractual obligation.

Raw material
Finished product

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