Ceramic materials, manufactured from fired clay, have been used in construction since at least 4000 BC in Egypt, and represent the earliest manufactured building materials. Whilst the strict definition of ceramics includes glass, stone and cement, this chapter deals only with the traditional ceramics based on clays. The variety of traditional ceramic products used within the building industry arises from the wide range of natural and blended clays used for their production. The roof of the spectacular Sydney Opera House (Fig. 8.1) is surfaced with white ceramic tiles which reflect the changing light associated with the time of day.

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