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The characterization, testing, and nondestructive evaluation of ceramics and glasses are vital to manufacturing control, property improvement, failure prevention, and quality assurance. This article provides a broad overview of characterization methods and their relationship to property control, both in the production and use of ceramics and glasses. Important aspects covered include the means for characterizing ceramics and glasses, the corresponding rationale behind them, and relationship of chemistry, phases, and microconstituents to engineering properties. The article also describes the effects that the structure of raw ceramic materials and green products and processing parameters have on the ultimate structure and properties of the processed piece. The effects that trace chemistry and processing parameters have on glass properties are discussed. The article describes mechanical tests and failure analysis techniques used for ceramics.

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