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Ceramic materials consist of mixtures of crystalline and vitreous components and usually include some porosity. As a result, no simple broad generalizations apply to all these materials. A review of their properties is based on the behavior of crystals, glasses, and complex mixtures. At room temperature, engineering ceramics are elastic solids and fail by brittle fracture; static fatigue (a time-dependent failure) is commonly observed. At high temperatures, time-dependent properties become increasingly important for both deformation and fracture behavior.
Professor of Ceramics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass