Glass vs Ceramic
Ceramics and glass are used for applications which require qualities such as hardness, rigidity, high resistance to heat and corrosion etc. A vast range of ceramic materials is used in the day today life. Some of them are Pottery, porcelain, bricks, tiles, glass, cement, etc. Although glass is categorized under the group of ceramic materials, it can be distinguished based on its atomic structure which accounts for its unique characteristics.
Ceramic is defined as inorganic nonmetallic material which are hardened at high temperatures. The atomic structure of ceramic can be either crystalline, non crystalline or partially crystalline. Most often, ceramics have a crystalline atomic structure. In addition, ceramics are classified as traditional or advanced mainly based on their applications. Most ceramics are opaque except glass. Silica, Clay, Limestone, Magnesia, Alumina, Borates, Zirconia, etc are used as raw materials for ceramics. Ceramic is shock resistant, high strength, abrasion resistant material. Their electrical conductivity is poor. Ceramic is fabricated by forming a paste containing very fine powder of raw materials and water into a given shape and then by sintering. Due to manufacturing processes, ceramic is a little more expensive than glass. Natural ceramics like stones, clay, and porcelain are also useful in the day today life.
Glass is defined as an amorphous solid which does not have a long range periodic atomic structure which shows a glass transition behavior. This glass transition behavior is exhibited by non crystalline (amorphous) and semi crystalline materials. Upon heating, glass shows a rubber like state over a temperature range which is called the glass transition temperature. This falls below its melting temperature. Glass is super cooled without letting it gain the crystalline structure. Formation of glass requires network formers (SiO2, B2O3, P2O5, GeO2, etc) and intermediates (Ti, Pb, Zn, Al, etc) to take part in the glass network, and modifiers to break the network structure. Pure silica glass, Soda- Lime- Silica glass, Lead- Alkali- Silicate glass and Borosilicate glass are types of glass.
What is the difference between Glass and Ceramic?
Both ceramics and glass are inorganic nonmetallic solids used for many applications ranging from pottery to advanced engineering materials in the aerospace industry. Even though, glass has a different atomic structure, unlike most common ceramics, it is hard, rigid, brittle, and resistant to thermal conduction, chemical corrosion and electrical conduction like most ceramics. Ceramics and glass cannot withstand high tensile stress while they are reliable under compressive stress. Generally, all ceramics including glass have a higher melting point than other materials. Due to that, ceramics are used as refractory materials.
A brief comparison of Glass vs Ceramics
• Glass is a type of ceramic.
• Ceramics have crystalline or semi crystalline or non crystalline atomic structure; atomic structure of glass is non crystalline.
• Only glass exhibits glass transition behavior out of all ceramics.
• Most ceramics are opaque while glass is transparent.
• Glass is cheaper than the other ceramics.