The primeval Ceramics made by humans were pottery objects, including 27,000-year-old figurines, made from clay, either by itself or blended with other materials like silica, hardened, sintered, in fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to produce smooth, colored surfaces, decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates. Ceramics currently include domestic, industrial and building products, as well as a broad range of ceramic art. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as in semiconductors. Polymers are investigated in the fields of biophysics and macromolecular science, and polymer science (which encompass polymer chemistry and polymer physics). Historically, products arising from the linkage of repeating units by covalent chemical bonds have been the primary focus of polymer chemistry; emerging important areas of the science currently focus on non-covalent links. Composite materials are generally used for buildings, bridges and structures like boat hulls, swimming pool panels, race car bodies, shower stalls, bathtubs, storage tanks, imitation granite and cultured marble sinks and countertops. The most advanced examples perform routinely on spacecraft in demanding environments. Now standing at USD 296.2 billion, the ceramics market is forecast to grow to USD 502.8 billion by 2020, as every industry achieves upgraded manufacturing efficiency along with high renewable energy efficiency. As per the global market analysis, in 2014, the composite materials industry is expected to generate revenue of approximately 156.12 billion U.S. dollars.
- Glass science and technologies
- Ceramic and composite construction materials
- Novel synthesis and processing of ceramics
- Fabrication methods of composites
- Bioceramics and medical applications
- Industrial applications of composite materials