Digitalfire Ceramic Glossary



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Eutectic


The lowest temperature at which a mix of oxides will melt and form a eutectic reaction (simultaneous crystallization). Only mixtures of some oxides will do this. The temperature is often an anomaly, that is, it is much lower than the melting temperatures of only slightly different mixtures. Lead-tin solder is an example. Lead melts at 327C, tin at 231C. The lowest melting combination is 67 lead, 33 tin (180C).
Non-eutectic mixtures have a melting or softening range. Such mixtures do not flow well until thoroughly heated past the softening range. This softening phenomenon is what makes glazes hang onto the ware.

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By Tony Hansen




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