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Material Research: Solid Surfaces

Guide explaining the different types of materials and manufacturers.

Solid Surfaces Overview

Solid surfaces are engineered, durable, hard materials that can endure rigorous use. They are used for countertops, flooring, and walls. The CCS Library features solid surface samples in ceramic, composite, and glass.

  • Ceramic - hard and strong due to ionically-bonded atoms, which holds them firmly in place. Traditionally, ceramics have been described as non-metal compounds that have been shaped and then hardened by heating to high temperatures or by chemical reactions (clays and concrete).
  • Composites - materials made from combinations of materials from any of the other categories (like fiberglass: a combination of glass fiber and resin). Laminates are composites in which layers of different materials are bonded together with adhesive to give added strength, durability, or other benefits.
  • Glass - hard, brittle, and usually transparent substances commonly made from sand heated with various chemicals. It behaves like a solid material, but it's also a liquid in disguise! 

Research Information

Ceramics and Glass in Industry - From the American Ceramics Society, this site explains the main applications of industrial ceramics and glass in basic terms.

Composites Lab - This site explains what composites are, their history, and gives an industrial overview.

What Is Glass? - From the Corning Museum of Glass, this article provides an overview of the chemistry and properties of glass and links to other articles and sources, available through the Museum.


Fire + Sand = Glass

The Making of Ceramics

Composite Materials

College for Creative Studies website