Breviary Technical Ceramics






3.3 Classification

Early standardisation

The fundamental need of application engineers to consider matters of safety and reliability led at a very early stage to the standardisation of ceramic materials by the Association of German Electrical Engineers (VDE). Only materials that fulfilled these specifications were certified for applications in electrical engineering.

The importance of this "Ceramic Materials for Electronics" standard is emphasised by the fact that the German regulatory standard DIN IEC 40 685 / VDE 0335 was accepted as binding, both nationally and internationally, for decades. The reworked standard has been published as DIN EN 60 672. The materials standardised there are categorised into groups (100, 200 etc.) and are identified by type numbers (C...)[1].

Since these and other materials also became very important outside electronics, a standard for the classification of the features of technical ceramics was developed by the "European Committee for Standardisation" (CEN) as EN 12 212. The German version was published as DIN EN 12 212.

The two standards are fundamentally different. DIN EN 60 672 assigns brief type identifiers to defined ceramic materials and describes their minimum requirements. These material identifiers (e. g.e.g. C 799) are frequently entered on technical drawings. DIN EN 12 212 on the other hand is a flexible system through which individual identifiers can be encoded immediately.

The preliminary European standard, prENV 14 232, moreover, defines important basic terms related to high-performance ceramics and formulaic short identifiers for ceramic materials, frequently containing indications to the manufacturing technique.

In Table 1 the materials used for insulation purposes in accordance with DIN EN 60 672 are shown with their corresponding material identifier (C...), and materials according to manufacturers' specification marked wherever possible with abbreviations according to DIN ENV 14 232.

Silicate ceramics

  Alkali aluminosilicates
(C 100)
  Quartz porcelain, plastically formed
C 110
  Quartz porcelain, pressed
C 111
  Cristobalite porcelain, plastically formed
C 112
  Alumina porcelain
C 120
  Alumina porcelain, high strength
C 130
  Lithium porcelain
C 140


  Magnesia silicates
(C 200)
  Low voltage steatite
C 210
  Standard steatite
C 221
  Steatite, low loss angle
C 221
  Porous steatite
C 230
  Forsterite, porous
C 240
  Forsterite, dense
C 250


  Alkaline earth – aluminosilicates and zircon porcelain
(C 400)
  Cordierite, dense
C 410
  Celsian, dense
C 420
  Basic calcium oxide, dense
C 430
  Basic zircon, dense
C 440


  Porous aluminosilicates and magnesium-aluminosilicates
(C 500)
  Aluminosilicate based
C 510
  Magnesium-aluminosilicate based
C 511
  Magnesium-aluminosilicate based
C 512
  Cordierite based
C 520
  Aluminosilicate based
C 530


  Mullite ceramic with low alkali content
(C 600)
  Mullite ceramics with 50 % to 65 % Al2O3
C 610
  Mullite ceramics with 65 % to 80 % Al2O3
C 620


Oxide ceramics

  Titanates and other ceramics with high permittivity
(C 300)
  Titanium dioxide based
C 310
  Magnesium titanate based
C 320
  Titanium dioxide and other oxides
C 330
  Titanium dioxide and other oxides
C 331
  Calcium and strontium bismuth titanate based
C 340
  Ferroelectric perovskites based
C 350
  Ferroelectric perovskite based
C 351


  Ceramic materials with high alumina content
(C 700)
  High Al2O3 content ceramics; > 80 % to 86 % Al2O3
C 780
  High Al2O3 content ceramics; > 86 % to 95 % Al2O3
C 786
  High Al2O3 content ceramics; > 95 % to 99 % Al2O3
C 795
  High Al2O3 content ceramics; > 99 % Al2O3
C 799



  Other oxide ceramics materials
(C 800)
  Beryllium oxide, dense
C 810
  Magnesium oxide (MgO), porous
C 820

     Magnesium oxide

MgO *
  Zirconium oxide (ZrO2)
(C 830)²

     partially stabilised zirconium oxide


     fully stabilised zirconium oxide


     tetragonal polycrystalline zirconium oxide

  Aluminium titanate
  Lead zirconium titanate (piezo-ceramics)
  Fused silica ceramic (SiO2)
SiO2 *
  Spinel (MgO . Al2O3)
Spinel **
  Mullite (Al2O3 . SiO2)
Mullite **
  Titanium dioxide (TiO2)
TiO2 *

Non-oxide ceramics

  Silicon carbide (SiC)
SiC *

     re-crystallised silicon carbide


     nitride-bonded silicon carbide


     (non-pressurised) sintered silicon carbide


     silicon infiltrated silicon carbide


     liquid-phase sintered silicon carbide


     hot-pressed silicon carbide


     isostatic hot-pressed silicon carbide


     silicate-bonded silicon carbide

SiC *
  Boron carbide (B4C)
BC *


  Nitrides and "non-oxide ceramic insulators"
(C 900)
  Aluminium nitride (AlN)
C 910
       Aluminium nitride
  Boron nitride (BN)
C 920
       cubic boron nitride
       hexagonal boron nitride
  Silicon nitride, reaction-bonded, porous (RBSN)
C 930
  Silicon nitride, dense
C 935
  Silicon nitride (SN)
SN *
       sintered silicon nitride
       reaction-bonded silicon nitride
       hot-pressed silicon nitride
       isostatic hot-pressed silicon nitride
  Silicon aluminium oxynitride
  Titanium nitride (TiN)
TiN *

Material according to DIN EN 60 672 in the form of C...
Material according to DIN ENV 14 242 as abbreviation
Material name in common speech

Table 1: Technical ceramics materials

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