Refractorie bricks are materials that are formulated to retain their shape and tensile strength in the presence of extremely high temperatures.Today, most refractory bricks are made with aluminum and silicon oxide, magnesium, zirconium, silicon carbide and graphite.
Ceramic formulation and adjustment technology can be approached on different levels: The pure oxide, the oxide in the presence of others with which to interact, the mineral, the material, the recipe and the process.
The materials we use are powders and we assess their physical presence on that level. However these powders are generally composed of microscopic mineral particles (except for frits of course). In many materials these particles are homogeneous,
Some oxides exist as physical powders we can add to a recipe, but oxides in the context of glaze chemistry is more of a theoretical concept
Oxide chemistry is not normally factored into understanding what bodies do when fired, it is difficult to draw relationships between the chemistry of vitreous bodies and their physical fired properties. This is because bodies are not melted during firing as are glazes, normally firing creates conditions of crystal growth in the body. Chemistry needs to be put in context with the other levels. For example, consider a glaze that is crazing: If it contains a lot of Na2O, then it has a high thermal expansion, that is almost certainly the cause.
In the home, refractory materials may be found in fire brick and around heating systems. Some types of refractory products are designed to withstand corrosive chemicals, such as various types of acid.
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