Ceramics, Composite materials and Glass
Bonding in ceramics and glasses uses covalent and ionic-covalent types with SiO2 (silica or sand) as a fundamental building block Engineering ceramics are known for their stability and stiffness under high temperatures, compression and electrical stress. Chemical vapor deposition can place a film of a ceramic on another material. The wear resistance of tools is derived from cemented carbides with the metal phase of cobalt and nickel typically added to modify properties. Scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass is a well-known example of the application of materials science to drastically improve the properties of common components.
Composites are structured materials comprised of two or more macroscopic phases. Applications range from structural elements such as steel-reinforced concrete, to the thermal insulating tiles which play a key and integral role in NASA's Space Shuttle thermal protection system which is used to protect the surface of the shuttle from the heat of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.