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By the magic of delflocculation, all this powder will mix into that water

Casting slips require a minimum of water. Amazingly, it is possible to get 3000g of M370 powder into 1100g of water! And the fluid slurry produced, 2250cc, still fits in the container. How is this possible? That water has 11 grams of Darvan 7 deflocculant in it, it causes the clay particles to electrolytically repel each other! An awareness of “the magic” can help give you the determination to master deflocculation, the key enabler of the slip casting process. Determination? Yes, the process is fragile, must must develop the ability to “discover” the right amount of Darvan for your clay mix and water supply. And the ability to recognize what is wrong with a slurry that is not working (too much or little water, too much or little deflocculant).

Two almost-full containers of clay powder, one half full of water

Links

Articles Deflocculants: A Detailed Overview
A detailed look and what deflocculation is, what the most common types of deflocculants are (there are many) and how they compare in function
Articles Understanding the Deflocculation Process in Slip Casting
Understanding the magic of deflocculation and how to measure specific gravity and viscosity, and how to interpret the results of these tests to adjust the slip, these are the key to controlling a casting process.
Glossary Deflocculation
The deflocculation process is the magic behind the ceramic casting process. It enables you to make a slurry of far lower water content and thus lower shrinkage.
Glossary Slip Casting
A method of forming ceramics where a deflocculated (low water content) slurry is poured into absorbent plaster molds, forming a layer against mold walls, then poured out.
Glossary Propeller Mixer
In ceramic studios, labs and classrooms, a good propeller mixer is essential for mixing glaze and body slurries.

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