Sintering is an extremely flexible process where micro-scale particles are bonded together through heat and pressure, and is often used to work elements that are compounds with unworkably high melting temperatures. The technology has been used in basic form for thousands of years through its fundamental role in the production of ceramics and the strengthening of bricks. It is the process that allows ceramics to harden into a range of different useful structures in the kiln oven. During the 19th century, our understanding of the mechanics of sintering vastly expanded through visionaries such as William D. Coolidge. He used the principles of sintering to create flexible tungsten elements for incandescent light bulb. From there, methods for sintering all sorts of materials were honed. Maruyama's work is now focused on improving the sinterability of boron carbide. To do this, he is testing a range of different sintering techniques aiming to produce high-quality boron carbide at a lower cost than is currently available.