Test Procedures for Traditional Ceramics

44MR - +44 and +63 Micron Residue
APPO - Apparent Porosity
AVPS - Average Particle Size (Microns)
AVSC - Apparent Viscosity (cps)
BDGC - Bulk Density g/cc (Packed)
BDLB - Bulk Density lbs/cu. ft. (Packed)
BLOI - Borate LOI
BWIW - Boiling Water:Ice Water Glaze Fit Test
CCON - Carbon content
CDRY - Drying Factor/Water Content/Solubles
CEC - CEC (meq/100g)
CLWC - Clay Water Content - Powder, Plastic
CMST - Compressive Strength
COLE - Co-efficient of Linear Expansion
COVB - Cold Over Boiled Porosity
CSSS - Clay, Silt, Sand Sedimentation Test
DENS - Density (Specific Gravity)
DFAC - Drying Factor
DFDM - Deflocculation Demand
DIEL - Dielectric Strength
DNLP - Density, loose packed (lbs/cu fut)
DS - Dry Strength (kgf/cm2)
DSHR - Drying Shrinkage
DSRN - Dry Strenth (Round Bars)
DSTR - Dry Strength (Square Bars)
DTMP - Decomposition Temperature
EBCT - Engobe Body Compatibility Test
EM20 - Elastic Modulus, 20 degrees C
FRFU - Frit Fusibility Test
FRRD - Fired Strength Round Bars
FRTG - Fracture Toughness
FSHR - Firing Shrinkage
FSTR - Fired Strength Square Bars
GBMF - Glaze Melt Fluidity - Ball Test
GEBR - GE Brightness
GLAZ - Glaze Observations
GLFL - Glaze Melt Flow - Runway Test
GLHD - Glaze Hardness
GLLE - Glaze Leaching Test
GSPT - Frit Softening Point
GTTM - Glass Transition Temperature
HDMI - Hardness (Microindentation) Test
HEGF - Hegman Fineness
HMA - Heating Microscope Analysis for Frits
HMAN - Heating Microscope Analysis
HMOH - Hardness (Moh)
IFP - I.F.P. (celsius)
IWCT - 300F:Ice Water Crazing Test
L10M - % < 10 microns
L1M - % < 1 micron
L20M - % < 20 microns
L2M - % < 2 microns
L30M - % < 30 microns
L5 - % < 5 microns
L5M - % < 0.5 microns
LDW - LOI/Density/Water Content
LOI - LOI (100-1000C)
LQLM - Liquid Limit
MDPS - Median Particle Size (Microns)
MLRG - Frit Melting Range (C)
MOIP - Moisture Content - Powder
MOR - Modulus of Rupture - Fired
MOR5 - Dry M.O.R. (50% Silica)
MORD - Modulus of Rupture - Dry
OLAD - Oil Adsorption (Spatula)
P200 - % Passing 200 Mesh Wet
P325 - % Passing 325 Mesh Wet
PBPO - Pugged Body Properties Overview
PCE - Pyrometric Cone Equivalent
pHPG - pH (pugged clay)
pHPW - pH for dry powder
PPD - Pyroplastic Deformation
PRSM - Poisson's Ratio
PSHP - Particle Shape (1-7 microns)
RC - Reheat Change
RHEO - Rheology of a Ceramic Slurry
SADR - Sieve Analysis Dry
SAMG - Surface Area (m2/gm)
SCLE - Simple Clay Evaluation
SHAB - Shrinkage/Absorption Test
SIEV - Sieve Analysis 35-325 Wet
SLBY - Solubility
SOLU - Soluble Salts
SPHC - Specific Heat Capacity
SSAB - Simple Shrinkage/Absorption
SVWT - Sieve Analysis Wet
THCO - Thermal Conductivity, 20 degrees C
TNST - Tensile Strength, 25 degrees C
TREL - Trace Elements (ppm)
TRMN - Trace Minerals
TSFL - Thermal Shock Failure
UPSD - Ultimate Particle Size Distribution
WABS - Water absorption
WOPL - Water of Plasticity
WRA - Whole Rock Analysis
WSR - Wet Sieve Residue
XREF - Index of Refraction


Every ceramic production facility should have some sort of materials, body and glaze testing program in place. Amazingly, many large factories have little or no testing! Then one day the kiln operator notices a large number of cracked, warped and off-size items and every one in the plant is blaming him. Likely the real causes are in a number of places earlier in the production. This underscores one of the primary reasons for testing and quality control: to establish specifications and to set off procedural alarms when test results fall outside those specifications so problems can be identified before a product goes to the next step of production.

It is not easy to know where to start when it comes to setting up a testing program. The huge array of ASTM test procedures, their complexity, test equipment requirements and their expense intimidates many people (try finding tests for ceramics on their website to see what I mean). These tests are great if you want to generate numbers that can be compared across an industry (for data sheets for example). But if you only need to do testing within your own facility to determine product consistency, a simpler and more accessible approach is better. Of course, either way, there is the problem of dealing with the mountain of data that is generated by a quality control program. The is where good software comes in (e.g. Digitalfire 4Sight Server).

Where do you start? Think of it this way: What physical properties of your bodies and glazes are important to maintain and are signals of changes you need to be aware of. For plastic bodies likely you want to monitor particle size distribution, drying shrinkage, water content, fired shrinkage and fired porosity. Two tests (SIEV and SHAB) can give you all of this information. You might like to add the DFAC test if you are using a plastic forming body. For casting bodies you must also watch rheology properties (use the RHEO test). For productions glazes use the GLAZ test to maintain the slurry (others will of course to need for color, surface, hardness, expansion, etc). Remember, we are talking about where you start here, of course there is no limit to how fancy a quality control program can be.

Tests in this database are defined as Multi-variable or Single-Variable. Single-variable tests are used to define a value for a specific property. For example, the melting point of a material is specified under the MLPT test and simply appears on pages as a label and a value. Multi-Variable tests are where data is being collected and measured over time and the system compiles and computes results and displays them accordingly. Data values for multi-variable tests are recorded with the Sample/Test/Specimen/Variable to uniquely identify them. For example, in the SHAB test you collect the dry length, fired length, fired weight and boiled weight for a number of specimens of a particular clay body run and the system generates a chart showing the data, the calculated dry and fired shrinkages and the porosity.


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Articles Firing Clay Test Bars
Being able to make good consistent test bars and fire them in a consistent and proper way is a basic requirement of getting valid results for shrinkage and porosity measurement.
Articles Understanding Thermal Expansion in Ceramic Glazes
Understanding thermal expansion is the key to dealing with crazing or shivering. There is a rich mans and poor mans way to fit glazes, the latter might be better.
Articles Simple Physical Testing of Clays
Learn to test your clay bodies and clay materials and record the results in an organized way, understanding the purpose of each test and how to relate its results to changes that need to be made in process, recipe and materials.
Articles A Low Cost Tester of Glaze Melt Fluidity
This device to measure glaze melt fluidity helps you better understand your glazes and materials and solve all sorts of problems.
Glossary Firing Shrinkage
During drying, clay particles draw together and shrinkage occurs. During firing the matrix densifies and shrinkage continues. More vitreous bodies shrink more.
Glossary Clay Body Porosity
In ceramics, porosity is considered an indication of density, and therefore strength and durability. Porosity is measured by the weight increase when boiled in water.
URLs http://www.astm.org/Standards/glass-and-ceramic-standards.html
ASTM Ceramics and Glass Testing Standards

By Tony Hansen

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