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Ceramic Testing Labs

There is much physical testing you can do using simple procedures and equipment (as described on this site) to compare ceramic bodies, glazes, engobes, etc. Such testing, for example, shows you that one clay is more plastic than another, one glaze has more melt fluidity than another or one engobe has a higher firing shrinkage than another. But if you want data to represent the absolute value of a specific property (e.g. coefficient of thermal expansion, chemical or mineralogical analysis) you may need the services of a testing lab. Most labs have grown over time and offer a wide array of services for many industries, so it can be difficult to locate the specific test you need. Effectively using their services is about knowing exactly what you want, finding their sample preparation instructions for the specific test needed and then following these closely to get the desired result at the expected cost. Having just one test done to answer one question is not typical, normally one has a specific test done on multiple samples, learning to interpret the data over time.

If you want to test for leaching in a ceramic glaze consider carefully if you will be able to interpret the results they give you. There is a good chance they will give you a report full of numbers but decline to make any technical assessments or interpretation regarding it.

Read our articles on this (listed below) for alternatives that may be more practical.

Related Information

Links

URLs https://www.drvbceramicresearch.com/index.php
Dr. VB's Ceramic Research Centre - Chennai, India
URLs https://www.vbceramics.com/home.php
VB Ceramic Consultants - Chennai, India
URLs https://www.ceram.com/testing
British Ceramic Research, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
URLs https://www.lucideon.com/
Lucideon, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
URLs https://www.nslanalytical.com/
NSL Analytical Services, Cleveland, OH
URLs https://www.lambdatechs.com
Lambda Research,
URLs https://www.alfred.edu/cact/analytical-testing-capabilities.cfm
Alfred Analytical Laboratory, Alfred Station, NY, USA
URLs https://www.bsclab.com
Brandywine Science Center, Inc., Kennett Square, PA, USA
URLs https://www.contractlaboratory.com
Norwest Labs, Alberta, Canada
URLs https://www.loringlabs.net/
Loring Laboratories Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
URLs https://www.sgs.ca/
SGS Canada Inc, Lakefield, Ontario, Canada
URLs https://www.alsglobal.com
ALS Minerals, Reno, NV, USA
Glossary Physical Testing
In ceramics, glazes and bodies have a chemistry, a mineralogy and a physical presence. All of these need to be understood to adjust and fix issues.
Glossary Leaching
Ceramic glazes can leach heavy metals into food and drink. This subject is not complex, there are many things anyone can do to deal with this issue
Articles Are Your Glazes Food Safe or are They Leachable?
Many potters do not think about leaching, but times are changing. What is the chemistry of stability? There are simple ways to check for leaching, and fix crazing.
Articles Is Your Fired Ware Safe?
Glazed ware can be a safety hazard to end users because it may leach metals into food and drink, it could harbor bacteria and it could flake of in knife-edged pieces.

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