Boron (B2O3) is like silica, but it is also a flux. Frits and Gerstley Borate supply it to glazes. In this test, I increased the amount of boron from 0.33 to 0.40 (using the chemistry tools in my insight-live.com account). I was sure that this would make the glaze melt more and have less of a tendency to craze. But as these GBMF tests for melt flow (10 gram GBMF test balls melted on porcelain tiles) show, that did not happen. Why? I am guessing that to get the effect B2O3 has to be substituted, molecule for molecule for SiO2 (not just added to the glaze).
Ceramic glazes melt and flow according to their chemistry and mineralogy. Observing and measuring the nature and amount of flow is important in understanding them.
Glaze chemistry is the study of how the oxide chemistry of glazes relates to the way they fire. It accounts for color, surface, hardness, texturem, melting temperature, thermal expansion, etc.
Raw ceramic materials are minerals or mixtures of minerals. By taking the characteristics of these into account technicians can rationalize the application of glaze chemistry.
|Glossary||Calculated Thermal Expansion
The thermal expansion of a glaze can be predicted (relatively) and adjusted using simple glaze chemistry. Body expansion cannot be calculated.
|Tests||Glaze Melt Fluidity - Ball Test|