These are glazed test bars of two fritted white clay bodies fired at cone 03. The difference: The one on the right contains 13% 200 mesh quartz, the one on the left substitutes that for 13% 200 mesh calcined alumina. Quartz has the highest thermal expansion of any traditional ceramic material, alumina has the lowest. As a result the alumina body does not "squeeze" the glaze (put it under some compression). The result is crazing. There is one other big difference: The silica body has 3% porosity at cone 03, the alumina one has 10%!
Co-efficient of Thermal Expansion
Ceramics are brittle and many types will crack if subjected to sudden heating or cooling. Some do not. Why? Differences in their co-efficients of thermal expansion.
Crazed ceramic glazes have a network of cracks. Understanding the causes is the most practical way to solve it. 95% of the time the solution is to adjust the thermal expansion of the glaze.
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