Be careful with the word ductility here, your ceramics under normal
conditions will almost never be ductile and melleable like a metal due
to the very nature of the covalent or ionic bonds. You can indeed
improve the toughness through microstructure control, dopants,
processing, etc... Then there are unusual cases of superplasticity,
such as that seen in fine grained zirconia materials.
For the most part, you don't substantially improve the ductility of
brittle non-metallic materials.....
You can modify the brittleness of many polymers by adding appropriate
smaller molecular weight units called plastisizers, or you can raise the
temperature. PVC is an excellent example of this.
It would help if you could also define what you actually mean with the
words "improve the ductility"....
Almost no ceramic qualifies as having five independent crystallographic
slip systems.... a geometric basis for true ductility following the
writings of G. I. Taylor who wrote the basics well before almost anyone
here was alive.....
You can cheat a little by substitution of twinning mechanisms to provide
a small amount of material deformation at locallzed microscopic stress
concentrations. Stress induced phase transitions will also slightly
cheat the extreme brittleness by also localized limited deformation in
the vicinity of localized microscopic stress concentrations.
You can make a few polycrystallne ceramic knives, for example, and even
buy them for use in the kitchen.
You can't cold bend ceramic rods into coil springs, however, buy you
might be able to hot bend them.
You could look into the technology of making superconductor small
diameter wires, unless that is what you are trying to do without letting
anyone know what your goal is...
Sneaky b*****ds sometimes try to milk these technical groups, you know.
1) Eat Till SATISFIED, Not STUFFED... Atkins repeated 9 times in the book
2) Exercise: It's Non-Negotiable..... Chapter 22 title, Atkins book
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