PerspectiveMaterials Science

Toughened Ceramics

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Science  13 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5392, pp. 1275
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5392.1275

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Ceramics are valued for their durability in many applications, but new generations of materials, such as the carbides and nitrides, suffer from limited fracture resistance. In his Perspective, Tredway discusses new results reported in the same issue by Ishikawa et al. on the synthesis of crack-resistant silicon carbide. By fabricating a material with a particular internal texture, the authors were able to demonstrate toughness and high thermal conductivity at very high temperature. Such improved ceramics may find uses in turbines for aerospace applications as well as power generation.