Course detail

Nonmetallic Materials

FSI-WNEAcad. year: 2019/2020

The introductory course of non-metallic inorganic materials focused on the structure of ceramic materials and their physical and chemical properties. Lectures also provide, in addition to specific information on ceramic materials, the theoretical foundations of chemical thermodynamics and introduction to polymers.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students will be able to use the acquired knowledge in the related master studies of material engineering and apply it to the solution of appropriate problems of industrial practice particularly the problems connected with the selection of special ceramic materials.


Knowledge of physics, chemical thermodynamics and kinetics and also synthesis of ceramics on the level of introductory university courses is assumed.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

M.W.Barsoum: Fundamentals of Ceramics, IOP Publishing, London 2003
M.W.Barsoum: Fundamentals of Ceramics, IOP Publishing, London 2003 (EN)
W.D.Kingery, H.K.Bowen and D.R. Uhlmann: Introduction to Ceramics,Wiley, New York 1976 (EN)
W.D.Kingery, H.K.Bowen and D.R. Uhlmann: Introduction to Ceramics,Wiley, New York 1976
J. Cihlář: Chemie slévárenských materiálů, Nakladatelství VUT v Brně, 1991 (CS)
D.W.Richerson: Modern Ceramic Engineering,Marcel Dekker,New York 1992 (EN)
D. Halliday, R. Resnick, J. Walker: Fyzika, Část 2: Mechanika – Termodynamika, VUTIUM, Brno 2000 (CS)
J. Cihlář: Chemie slévárenských materiálů, Nakladatelství VUT v Brně, 1991 (CS)
V. Šatava: Úvod do Fyzikální Chemie Silikátů: SNTL, Praha, 1965 (CS)
D. Halliday, R. Resnick, J. Walker: Fyzika, Část 2: Mechanika – Termodynamika, VUTIUM, Brno 2000 (CS)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline. Teaching is suplemented by practical laboratory work.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Course-unit credit requirements: attendance at seminars and fulfilment of assignments. Examination verifies the knowledge of the theory and its applications to solving practical problems. The exam consists of written and oral parts; students take the oral exam even though they do not succeed in the written part.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


The objective of the course is to make students familiar with the fundamentals of ceramic material science from the viewpoint of structure-properties relations.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Attendance at all practical lessons and fulfilment of assignments is required. In case students do not meet these conditions they can be given additional assignments.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme B3A-P Bachelor's

    branch B-MTI , 2. year of study, summer semester, 7 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Principles of chemical thermodynamics
Classification of thermodynamic systems, variables and relationships. Equilibrium criteria. First and second thermodynamic theorem, types of energy in systems, entropy.
2. Relationships and variables
Thermodynamic potentials of closed systems. Criterion and conditions for derivation of thermodynamic equilibrium. Thermochemistry. Heat capacities. Dependence of heat capacities, reaction heat, entropy and Gibbs energy on temperature. Changes in Gibbs energy in chemical reactions.
3. Phase equilibria - single- and multi-component homogeneous systems (solutions) .Gibbs phase law. Single-phase phase diagrams in (p, T) space. Clapeyron and Clausius - Clapeyron equations. Multi-component systems: expression of composition, partial molar variables, chemical potential. Ideal solutions - gases, liquids. Raoult's law. Real solutions.
4. Phase equilibria - multi-component heterogeneous systems (mixtures).
Multi-phase, multi-component, non-reactive systems. Balance of gaseous and liquid phase of the mixture. Reactions in multiphase systems. Activities and activity coefficients. Van't Hoff's isotherm. Equilibrium constant. Equilibrium conditions in systems with curved surfaces. Surface tension. Young - Laplace's equation. Capilarity.
5. Polymers
Basic terms, history, nomenclature, chemical composition of polymers, structure of polymers, molecular weight and its determination, basic properties of polymers, polyreaction.
6. Bonding in non-metallic inorganic materials (NAM)
Structure of atoms. Solids with ionic bonding and covalent bonding. Intermediate forces.
Structure of NAM - Crystal Structures. Binary ionic compounds. Composite crystalline structures.
7. Structure of glass and crystalline NAMs
Creating glasses. Models of glass structure. Structure of oxide glasses
Structural defects - Spot defects: stoichiometric, non-stoichiometric, internal. Notation of point defects. Linear defects. Planar defects
NAM Microstructure - Microstructural Characteristics. Typical microstructures: advanced ceramics, glass, ceramics.
8. Phase diagrams of selected NAMs
Binary and ternary diagrams of significant NAMs. Mixability of the phase-intermediate compounds-solid NAM solutions. Chemical Reactions in NAM - Kinetics of heterogeneous reactions.
9. Thermal and mechanical properties
Thermal capacity and conductivity. Thermal expansion. Temperature shock. Micropraying NAM. Strength and fracture toughness NAM. Mechanisms of bruising. Influence of external conditions on aging and NAM corrosion.
10. Band Theory
Dielectric properties. Polarization mechanisms. Dielectric losses. Capacitors and insulators. Electrical conductivity in NAM diffusion and conductivity. Ion and electron conductivity. SOFC.
11. Magnetic properties and optical properties of NAM
Para-, ferro-, and antiferro- and ferrimagnetism. Magnetic NAM. Optical properties - absorption, scattering, color, photoactivity.
12. Oxide NAM
13. Non-oxide NAM

Laboratory exercise

26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Calculations according to chemical equations. Thermochemistry - thermal capacities, reaction heat and their dependence on temperature.
2. Dependence of Gibbs energy on temperature.
Clapeyron equation, Claussius-Clapeyron equation.
4. Composition expression, Surface tension, Young-Laplace equation, classified test.
5. Nomenclature and structure of polymers, molecular weight calculations, examples of polymerizations, polycondensation, polyaddition.
6. Bonding and properties of non-metallic materials. The crystalline structure of binary and compound NAMs.
7. Structure of glass NAM and glass ceramics. Structural disorders.
8. Phase diagrams of significant NAMs and their interpretation.
9. Kinetics of solid-state reactions in NAM.
10. Thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of NAM.
11. Magnetic, optical and biological properties of NAM.
12. Excursions in the laboratories of the UMVI Ceramics Department.
13. Course credit