Making Light Work Of Ceramic Parts

To chefs and astronauts, the heat resistance of ceramics is what's important. Engineers like ceramics for their extreme durability. But whether these rock-hard materials are used for cookware, the skin of the Space Shuttle, or engine parts, they're usually molded into relatively simple shapes. That's because ceramics are too brittle to machine into complex shapes--unless an application can justify spending a few million on special diamond-tool grinding machines.

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