Ceramics as a material were initially used by the scientists in the space industry. They used the ceramic sheets on the outside to create a heat shield against the high temperatures which were generated when the shuttles were entering the earths atmosphere.
Once the ceramics as material was popular its first use was in the ball bearings industry where they used the ceramic material to make ball bearings which were being used wherever there were high intense heat situations.
Now the ceramic industry is a large industry with the ceramics being used in every conceivable form ranging form the flooring industry where ceramic tiles are popular to the high end aerospace industry.
Initially the ceramics were the refractory material which is still used in the flooring industry but for the high end uses there were hybrids developed like the silica carbide and the silica nitride. These ceramics have advantages over the traditional steel or other materials.
Ceramics are corrosion resistant as well as they are heat resistant and of course they much better at bearing heavier loads than steel. It is for this specific reason that the ceramics have been used by the industry even in the medicine world. Specific for bone implants and orthopedic restorations the ceramic material is used as it is very hard and tough to sustain pressures.
The other major use of ceramics is now being done in the semiconductors world. The integrated chip circuit’s that are used computers and other high techs gadgets have ceramic material. The ceramic material is also used in manufacturing of insulators and capacitors.
That said the future seems to be very bright for ceramics and a lot of research is being done to leverage the strength and the corrosion resistance of the ceramic materials.
In fact one of the major uses of ceramic has been in the cosmetic dentistry industry especially the porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are used by the cosmetic dentists makes new veneers for use on their patients. Porcelain veneers have a vitreous and glassy feel and that is why the look good on the tooth for a glassy white finish as dental crowns.
Ceramics as material is been continually evolved to make sure that in nowadays world it is environment friendly and can be easily disposed off also. These materials are hard and hence pose challenges when they are recycled as they cannot break down easily. So there is more research being done nowadays to look into this aspect of the ceramics.