|Monthly Tech-Tip |
These fired bars are nepheline syenite (NS) fired to Orton cone 03 (~2000F). The top bar, L4526C, is 95% NS and 5% Veegum. Its porosity is 3%. The bottom bar, L4526B, is 90% NS and 10% raw bentonite. Its porosity is 19%. The top bar obviously has much higher fired shrinkage, it looks and feels like a porcelain, that is clearly what is densifying it so much (the bottom one looks and feels like Plaster of Paris). Veegum is a plasticizer, not a flux. But it is acting as the latter here. Or perhaps its surface area enables acting as a catalyst to initiate the melting of the nepheline syenite. Imagine what Veegum can do in a porcelain-like Polar Ice.
A clay of incredibly small particle size. It has the highest plasticity of any known clay and acts as a suspending and gelling in slurries.