I know ceramics are generally considerably less dense than pure metals or alloys but sand is used in barbells for its probably cheapness, user-friendly and easy availability but its a decent density too. rammed sand- 1682 kg/m cubed using Engineering Toolbox compared to 2658 for steel chips. So if you wanted the most dense for something to have great compressive strength- what would it be?

  • $\begingroup$ What sort of usage are you interested in for the ceramic? Technically, diamond can be regarded as a ceramic & it is the strongest ceramic, but I don't think diamond is what you are wanting. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 7:03
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it appears to be a "finding things question". Please see this meta answer as well as this answer for additional guidance. $\endgroup$
    – user16
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 12:40
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't this more of a materials science question? Seems valid to me. Maybe it needs to be more specific? $\endgroup$
    – jhabbott
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Am I correct in assuming you want the highest density/compressive strength ratio? Or did you have another metric in mind? For your application, presumably high density is preferred as it would yield smaller weights, and compressive strength would be irrelevant as whatever shell the ceramic is held in would be the structural component. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ Just the one with greatest density. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 12:42

3 Answers 3


According to the following two sources, diamond is a ceramic:

Ceramic Strength-Density Graphs

Ceramics @ Virginia University

The graph below, from Ceramic Strength-Density Graphs shows diamond is the strongest ceramic, whereas zirconia is one of the most dense and strongest ceramics

enter image description here

The site matweb has a database of all sorts or materials.

By specifying ceramics with a compressive yields strength ranging between 100 MPa & 16 500 MPa & a density range between 2.5 & 22.6 $\text{g/cm}^3$, corundum, aluminium oxide, & alumina have the highest compressive yield strength & density, with a compressive yield strength of 3000 MPa & a density of 3.96 $\text{g/cm}^3$.


Carbides of heavy metals are always good candidates. Tungsten carbide has 15,63 g·cm−3. The other parameters are also "impressive".


Assuming money is not an option, Iridum is absurdly high density, ~22500 kg/m^3, Tungsten is close at ~19300 kg/m^3. both of which are extremely tough materials in compression.

(Headline asks for ceramics, but actual question asks for just material, hence the metal response).


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