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Book Review Science of Ceramic Chemical Processing. Edited by L. L. Hench and D. R. Ulrich

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fluids, and lastly the chromatography of coal and oil products. Careful editorial attention is apparent in this part of
the book too; for example, one feature deserving special
praise is that important steps in sample preparation and
preliminary separation into different types of substances
are always clearly emphasized, rather than being buried in
the rest of the text.
All the chapters are quite well balanced with regard to
length, although it is true that this can sometimes give
grounds for criticism. Thus, for example, three pages on
“HPLC of proteins” simply does not d o justice to the wide
range of applications that exists in this field of work. It
would have been more sensible here to limit the length of
the chapter by confining the discussion to amino acids.
Because of the rather arbitrary collection of topics
which it brings together, it is difficult to recommend this
very well produced book to a specific group of readers.
Many will at first be interested only in individual chapters,
and beginners in the field will regret the absence of chromatographic fundamentals. Consequently few readers will
consider it for their own bookshelves, but it certainly ought
not to be omitted from any library.
Gerhard Seipke [NB 798 IE]
Hoechst AG, Frankfurt am Main (FRG)
Science of Ceramic Chemical Processing. Edited by L. L.
Hench and D. R . Ulrich. John Wiley, New York 1986.
594 pp., bound, $ 90.30.--ISBN 0-471-82645-6
With the growing interest during recent years in new materials, especially in advanced ceramics, and the high expectations that are associated with them, their chemistry
has attracted an increasing amount of attention. This trend
is catered for by a series of international symposia entitled
“Ultrastructure Processing of Ceramics, Glasses and Composites”, held at two-yearly intervals since 1983. The papers of the second of these meetings (1985) are published
in this book, edited by Hench and Ulrich.
The title “Science of Ceramic Chemical Processing”
could easily mislead German-speaking readers, as the term
“ceramics” is used here in its broader sense to include also
glasses, a usage which differs from that of the German
“Keramik”. In fact fewer than half of the sixty papers are
concerned with technical ceramics in the narrower sense.
The majority deals instead with glasses, general colloid
chemistry, and organic polymers, some of those in the last
category having only a tenuous connection with ceramics.
It would be best to regard the papers presented here as
having the common theme of “Ultrastructure (chemical)
processing”. Ultrastructures, also referred to by some authors as “nanostructures”, can be taken to mean ordering
phenomena in solids with a scale of distances intermediate
between the Angstrom dimensions of molecular structures
and the micron dimensions typical for particulate structures. Essentially three main routes for the production of
such materials are discussed, namely the sol-gel technique,
the processing of colloidal particles with a well-defined
size distribution, and the conversion of covalent polymers,
e.g. polysiianes, polycarbosilanes and pofysilazanes. The
sol-gel technique received especially detailed coverage at
this meeting; the 35 papers on this topic dealt with both
the scientific basis of the technique and with its applications, but nevertheless one got the impression that the high
hopes that are held for this process have not yet been realized in practice. On p. 121 J . D. Mackenzie quite rightly
says that “The science of sol-gel processing is still in its
infancy at present”. The same is also true of the two other
routes mentioned above.
With regard to the book as a whole, the comments that
generally apply to books of conference proceedings are, of
course, also true here. The quality of the papers, and the
amount of care put into writing them, varies greatly from
author to author. A number of the articles have already
been published elsewhere, and there are many instances of
overlapping and repetition. Articles on highly specialized
topics are sometimes grouped together in an unrelated
fashion. The editors have succeeded in imposing a certain
amount of structure by dividing the book into six chapters:
Sol-gel science, Applications of sol-gel processing, Materials from organometallic precursors, Ultrastructure in macromolecular materials, Micromorphology science, and
Quantum chemistry. The presentation, the printing and the
quality of the illustrations are all good. The detailed subject index provided at the end of the book is also a welcome feature.
Despite the limitations mentioned, this book, in common with the preceding symposium volume (published in
1984), can be recommended to all those readers seeking a
review of the latest developments in this topical interdisciplinary field between chemistry, chemical engineering and
materials science.
M . Peuckerf [NB 821 IE]
Kerami kforschung,
Hoechst AG, Frankfurt am Main (FRG)
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Angew. Chem. Inr. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 7
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