Used as a flocculating agent in glazes (to suspend and gel them). For many, especially larger manufacturers, it is the product of choice (more effective than epsom salts and vinegar). It works well with glazes containing bentonite or carbonates. This material is the key to being able to apply a glaze to non-porous porcelain bisque ware, the slurry stays in place after application because of the gel state.
Usually small additions (.1-.3%) added to glaze slurries are sufficient to produce gelling. But sometimes higher, or considerably higher, percentages are needed (which may be an important consideration if small amounts of epsom salts would work).
One of our users reported that using Calcium Chloride in glazes containing bone ash can cause a hardpan to precipitate.
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) is inexpensive and can be sourced from online chemical stores (e.g. Carolina.com; it may be listed as hazardous, placing restrictions on shipping). Pool supply places sell it as an adjuster for water hardness (keeps the acids they put in pools from attacking the pool plaster). Calcium chloride is used on sidewalks as an ice-melter in cold climates.
Glaze Suspender - General
Gels glaze slurries.
Out Bound Links
Vinegar Solution 20%
In Bound Links
Magnesium Sulfate, HEPTAHYDRATE, hydrous magnesium sulphate
Knowing about thixotropy will enable you to mix a glaze that stays in suspension much better. It does not drip alot when a piece is draining. It goes on evenly, of adequate thickness and does not run. It dries quickly (on porous bisque) and is just much nicer to use. The secret to all of this is not...