MSE-326 / 4 credits

Teacher(s): Bowen Paul, Testino Andrea

Language: English


The course covers the production of ceramics and colloids from the basic scientific concepts and theories needed to understand the forming processes to the mechanisms and methods of sintering (firing) ceramics. Including the scientific principles behind the formation of colloidal dispersions.



Ceramics, colloids, forming, interparticle interactions, sintering, powder characterisation, processing, steric stabilization, adsorption, powder synthesis.

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses

General physics;

General inorganic chemistry;

Mathematical analysis;

Introduction to materials;

Recommended courses

Thermodynamics for materials science

Important concepts to start the course

chemical bonds; phase transitions;thermodynamics; microstructure of materials; statistics, tranfer phenomena

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Apply The acquired notions of the dispersion of particulate matter for any application.
  • Produce Acquired the knowledge, skills and practice necessary to produce a ceramic in an industrial environment or a laboratory
  • Choose to produce a ceramic of a particular geometry in connection with an application.
  • Demonstrate the colloidal stability of a suspension using the DLVO theory.
  • Describe the key characteristics of a ceramic powder needed to make a ceramic
  • Explain the mechanisms behind the different sintering phenomena.
  • Describe the different methods of synthesizing a ceramic powder.

Transversal skills

  • Use both general and domain specific IT resources and tools
  • Write a scientific or technical report.
  • Take responsibility for health and safety of self and others in a working context.
  • Negotiate effectively within the group.

Teaching methods

Lectures and exercises in class (3 h) and laboratory work (1 h)

Expected student activities

Attendance of lectures, doing exercises during class and at home, reading written material, discussion in class, doing experimental exercises, writing reports on experimental work and analyzing results

Assessment methods

The final grade is attributed based on the final oral exam 75% and the practical class reports 25%.




The Colloidal Domain: where physics, chemistry, biology, and technology meet.  D. F. Evans and H. Wennerström. Wiley-VCM, New York, Year:1999. ISBN:0-471-24247-0

CERAMIC PROCESSING AND SINTERING  M. N. Rahaman Taylor & Francis, London, 2003 0: ISBN - 10-8247-0988-8


Traité des Matériaux, vol 16, Céramiques et Verres, Principes et techniques d'élaboration, J-M Haussonne, C.P.Carry, P. Bowen, J. Barton, Press Polytechnique et Universitaires Romandes2005

Ressources en bibliothèque


Copy of slides presented during lectures; Wriiten text based on lectures; Text for each TP;

In the programs

  • Semester: Fall
  • Exam form: Oral (winter session)
  • Subject examined: Ceramic and colloidal processing + Laboratory work
  • Lecture: 3 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Practical work: 1 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks

Reference week

9-10 MXG110   
14-15   MED31119 

Tuesday, 9h - 12h: Lecture MXG110

Thursday, 14h - 18h: Exercise, TP MED31119