The most complete analysis of ceramic materials in history

- Jun 06, 2020-

Ceramic is an indispensable material in human life and production. Its development has gone from simple to complex, from rough to fine, from unglazed to glazed, from low temperature to high temperature. Understanding the history and development of ceramics can allow us to have a more comprehensive understanding of ceramic materials and thus explore their potential applications.

1. History of ceramic materials

Ceramic is one of the oldest industries. As soon as people discovered that clay could be mixed with water to make and sinter into objects of various shapes, the ceramic industry was born. As early as 24,000 BC, sculptures of animal and human figurines were made of clay and other materials, and then burned in dug underground kilns.


About 10,000 years later, with the establishment of a fixed community, Mesopotamia and India began to make bricks. Around 9000 or 10,000 BC, people used this functional pottery for the first time to store water and food. Clay bricks were also made at this time.

Glass is believed to have been discovered in Egypt around 8000 BC, and it was due to the ceramic glaze produced when the kiln overheated. According to expert estimates, it was not until 1500 BC that glass became an independently made ceramic and became a symbol of fashion.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages and the metal industry was still in its infancy, when the furnace used to melt the metal was still made of natural materials. When a better synthetic high-temperature resistant material (called refractory material) was developed in the 16th century, the Industrial Revolution was born. These refractory materials create the necessary conditions for industrial-grade metal melting and glass, as well as the manufacture of coke, cement, chemicals and ceramics.

Another major development occurred in the middle and late 19th century, when the electrical insulation of ceramic materials was developed. As a new application in inventions including cars, radios, televisions, and computers, ceramic and glass materials make it a reality, as shown in the following schedule.

Timeline of ceramic and glass development。


development of

240,000 BC

Ceramic statues used in ceremonies

140,000 BC

The first brick is made in Mesopotamia and India

9000-10000 BC

Start making pottery

5000-8000 BC

Found glaze in Egypt

1500 BC

Manufacturing glass products for the first time

1500 AD

Synthetic refractory materials are used in furnaces for steel, glass, ceramics and cement

Mid-19th century

Magnetoelectric insulation material, incandescent bulb


High-strength quartz insulating material

Alumina plug

Glass window car wash


Capacitor and ferrite


Insulated alumina with a voltage exceeding 220 kV

Carbide and nitride applications


High-performance honeycomb ceramic substrates are used in catalytic converters and particulate filters on diesel engines