Properties of ceramics

Types of ceramic materials

Ceramics are a polycrystalline solid that has three primary components: crystalline, made of grains, and vitreous (amorphous) – in the form of interlayers between the grains. 

Gas – in the form of pores between grains enclosed by amorphous layer interlayers. The crystalline component, depending on how it forms, can be divided into two types:

The first type of crystalline ceramic is the result of a single heat treatment (sintered). This type is called a monolithic ceramic. The second type of crystalline ceramic is obtained through multiple heat treatments (ceramic composites). The monolithic ceramic is a single-phase material, and the ceramic composite is a two-phase material.

The main types of ceramic composites are:

  • Porcelain
  • Faience
  • Fine-stone products
  • Majolica
  • Terracotta
  • Pottery Ceramics 
  • Fireclay ceramics 

The most significant distinction between ceramics is the chemical makeup and proportion of the three phases that determine the product’s properties. The structure, or form, of the ceramic body, is determined by the ingredients used to create it.

Ceramic materials are divided into fine-ceramic and coarse-ceramic categories according to the dispersion (size) of the structural components. 

If ceramics have small grains that are well dispersed, their fracture is consistent and the particles are hard to distinguish, then it’s a form of fine ceramics (particularly porcelain.

The structure of ceramics is heterogeneous, and coarse ceramic goods (chamotte products, pottery, terra cotta) result. 

High-quality clays without the addition of large particles can be used to make porcelain and terracotta. 

These may be considered fine ceramic products as they are made from high-quality clays.

Porcelain, faience, fine-stone goods, majolica, terracotta, and pottery are the most common ceramic materials. Fireclay ceramics are another kind of ceramic material.

Porcelain is white ceramic with a dense conchoidal fracture that represents the pinnacle of ceramic art. 

Refractory white-burning clays and kaolins, quartz and feldspars, and plastic are all used in porcelain production (the proportion of flexible materials to lean materials is 1:1).

Identify the differences between soft and hard porcelain. 

Some of the features that distinguish porcelain: are whiteness, translucency, mechanical strength, hardness, thermal and chemical resistance.

The differences between soft and hard porcelain are:

  • -Soft porcelain is more flexible than a hard porcelain.
  • -Soft porcelain is less resistant to thermal and chemical damage than a hard porcelain.
  • -Hard porcelain has a higher mechanical strength than soft porcelain.
  • -Hard porcelain is less susceptible to water and mechanical damage than soft porcelain.

Faience is a ceramic with a finely porous fracture and comes from the Italian city of Faenza (from the name of the type). Refractory white-burning clays, quartz, and various additives are used to make faience. It has an opaque porous shard unlike porcelain; the scrap firing is hotter than the poured

Fine-stone products are made of fine, white, or colored sintered shards with a consistent conchoidal fracture. 

Fine-stone manufacturing, like all ceramics production, uses refractory and refractory clays. Each with varying chemical compositions.

The characteristics of fine-stone sintering are divided into low-temperature and high-temperature fine-stone. The degree of sintering, the color of the shard, and the technology’s features determine what names thin-stone products receive: semi-porcelain, low-temperature porcelain, “stone goods.

Majolica is a ceramic with a porous, naturally colored shard from light cream to red (brick) tone and a see-through or sound (opaque) glaze. 

Tin oxide is the most common majolica glaze. The technology of majolica production has remained unchanged for centuries and is still used, today.

Terracotta is a porous, orange-colored ceramic that comes from the Latin word terra (earth) because it was first made from clay dug from the earth. It’s an all-purpose ceramic used for both functional and ornamental objects.

Fusible clays are used in their pure form or with the addition of thinning and fluxing additives to create majolica. A layer of white clay, engobe, is frequently applied to Majolica pottery, to disguise the shard’s natural color. 

Pottery is a general term for all types of ceramics that are not porcelain, faience, or fine-stone. It includes earthenware, stoneware, and fireclay products.

Earthenware is the most widespread type of pottery. It is made from natural clays (not pure clays) mixed with water and other materials to make a plastic product. 

Earthenware is fired at a low temperature, which makes it porous and susceptible to water and mechanical damage. 

Stoneware is made from pure clays mixed with water and other materials to make a plastic product. Stoneware is fired at a high temperature, which makes it nonporous and resistant to water and mechanical damage. 

Terracotta (terra Italian) -is a form of unglazed ceramic ware with a permeable shard made from clay. 

High-quality low-shrinkage clays are used to produce terracotta, which has a uniform color and a high melting point. Terracotta is often covered with engobe. 

Ceramic goods with the natural color of fired clay, high porosity, fine grain, and usually unglazed are known as pottery. 

Local low-melting pottery clays are used without any other components in the creation of this sort of ceramics, except for small additions of quartz sand. Products are

Fireclay ceramics are a kind of coarse ceramic product that has a porous, coarse-grained, and usually light-colored shard. 

Ground clay is fired in the chamotte process. Fireclay grains are bound together with clays in fireclay products, which are then kneaded until they form a plastic mass.

Fireclay ceramics are made from clays that have a very high percentage of alumina (Al2O3) and are heated at a very high temperature. This type of ceramic is used for lining furnaces and other high-temperature applications because it’s resistant to thermal and chemical damage. 

Ceramic production is based on a principal technical technique of procurement of raw materials, clay, fireclay, sand, etc.

Then the preparation of the mixture, the shaping of the product, and then its firing. 

Raw materials are processed in a specific order to achieve the necessary physical and chemical properties in the product.

The technology of ceramic production has been developing for centuries and continues to evolve. 

The main goal is to improve the quality of ceramic products, increase their variety, and find new applications for them.

The main difference between soft and hard porcelain is the firing temperature. 

Hard porcelain is heated at a higher temperature than soft porcelain. Which makes it harder, more durable, and less porous. Hard porcelain is also less likely to break or shatter when dropped. Soft porcelain is more fragile and can be damaged more easily.

The main difference between faience and porcelain is that faience is fired at a lower temperature than porcelain, making it is less durable and more porous. Faience is also more likely to break or shatter when dropped. Porcelain is more durable and less porous than faience.

Ceramic production is based on a principal technical technique of procurement of raw materials, (clay, fireclay, sand, etc.) The preparation of the mixture, shaping of the product, and then its firing. Raw materials are processed in a specific way to achieve the necessary physical and chemical properties in the product.

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