Monthly Tech-Tip from Tony Hansen SignUp

No tracking! No ads!

1-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | Frits | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Alternate Names: Soapstone


Steatite occurs in nature as soap stone. In ceramics, we known it as talc. Like dolomite and calcium carbonate, it has the curious property of being refractory when used pure but being a flux when combined with other materials.

Steatite is also a manufactured ceramic, a crystalline form of magnesium silicate (called synthetic steatite). It has relatively good strength and can service at temperatures up to 2,000°F (1180°C). It is much less expensive than sintered ceramics like alumina or zirconia. It's pressed density determines the porosity, compressive and flexural strength, conductivity and resistivity of the part being made.

Steatite is popular for making ceramic components where there is no need for tight dimensional tolerances, chemical purity or high mechanical stress - a common application is parts for electrical heaters.

Related Information

Soapstone Steatite Carving

Serpentine Soapstone


Oxide Analysis Formula
Steatite properties page at Associated Ceramics
Soapstone at Wikipedia
Glossary Refractory
In the ceramic industry, refractory materials are those that can withstand a high temperature without deforming or melting. Refractories are used to build and furnish kilns.
Materials Sierralite Talc
Materials Alumina
Materials Talc
A source of MgO for ceramic glazes, a flux or thermal expansion additive in clay bodies, also used in the manufacture of cordierite.
By Tony Hansen
Follow me on

Got a Question?

Buy me a coffee and we can talk, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy