Mechanics and Processing of Ceramics and Ceramic Composites (15/03/23)


​Rajendra Bordia (,
Satish Dhawan Visiting Chair Professor, Materials Research Center, IISc Bengaluru, INDIA
George J. Bishop, III Professor of Ceramic and Materials Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA.

Class Dates:​

March 15, 2023 to March 27, 2023 (no class on the Saturday of March 25th, and Sundays of March 19th and March 26th) [10 days].

Class Times:​

5 to 6:30 PM


New Classroom, Platinum Jubilee Wing, Department of Materials Engineering

Introduction and Overview

Ceramics have many attractive properties. A major limitation is their brittle nature under tensile loading. After an introduction to ceramics and their properties, the brittle fracture mechanics will be discussed. One successful approach to address the brittleness is to make ceramic matrix composites. The role of the nature of the reinforcement and mechanics of fracture of composites will be discussed.

One consequence of the brittle nature of the ceramics is the inability to use deformation processing to make shaped ceramic components. As a result, powder processing is the most common and versatile approach to process ceramic components with controlled microstructure and hence properties. The science and technology of powder processing starting from synthesis of powders, shaping, and densification and microstructure development will be discussed. Finally, a mechanics-based approach to understand and control complex powder processing (e.g., processing of films and coatings, processing under applied stresses, and processing of composites), will be discussed.

In this Short course, the emphasis will be on fundamental concepts and mechanisms.

Course Outline

Introduction: Introduction to ceramics; overview of properties of ceramics in the context of properties of other materials; introduction to powder processing; why it is commonly used for ceramics and why well-defined approaches used to shape and process metals and polymers cannot be used, easily, for ceramics.

Mechanical properties of ceramics: Brittle failure, concepts of fracture mechanics- crack growth resistance and fracture toughness (due to limited time, only fast fracture will be discussed (no creep and/or fatigue)

Fracture mechanics and mechanical properties of ceramic matrix composite: Conceptual discussion on different approaches to improve fracture toughness and related mechanics; the resultant mechanical properties.

Processing and synthesis of ceramic powders: The desired characteristics of powders and various approaches to synthesize both oxide and non-oxide powders

Shaping of ceramic components (“green-state processing”): Discussion of the various approaches used to shape ceramic powders into a solid structure with desired shape, including additive manufacturing of ceramics.

Sintering of ceramics: Introduction; densification and coarsening; thermodynamics of sintering; stages of sintering; kinetic models for sintering in different stages; and microstructure development during sintering.

Sintering practice: Sintering practice including importance of green state processing for ceramics; role of additives; effect of heating rate and sintering atmosphere; and master sintering curves.

Complex sintering problems: Constrained and differential sintering; and stress-assisted sintering

Emerging areas:

Simulation of sintering; and laser assisted sintering

Books and reading materials

No text books. Lecture notes provided together with relevant references.

Background needed

Introductory UG level course in materials engineering or ceramic engineering and solid mechanics