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CERAMICS AND LIFE

Ceramics have been an integral part of human life since ancient times. Due to their exceptional properties such as hardness, durability, heat resistance, and water impermeability, ceramics have found widespread applications in our daily lives.

1. Traditional Ceramics and Unfired Ceramics

Traditional Ceramics:

  • Crafted from clay or a mixture of clay and other minerals.
  • Undergo a high-temperature firing process (typically between 600°C and 1200°C) in a kiln.
  • The fired material becomes hard, durable, water-resistant, and heat-resistant.
  • Common types of traditional ceramics: earthenware, porcelain, terracotta, glazed pottery, etc.
  • Diverse applications: household utensils, decorative items, architecture, art, etc.

Unfired Ceramics:

  • A newer type of ceramic, using clay as the main material combined with additives.
  • Does not undergo a firing process but utilizes chemical reactions to form strong bonds between clay particles.
  • The finished material has high hardness and water resistance, but its thermal resistance is inferior to traditional ceramics.
  • Advantages: quick production, energy-saving, environmentally friendly.
  • Disadvantages: higher cost than traditional ceramics, more limited designs and applications.
  • Common types of unfired ceramics: gypsum ceramics, MgO ceramics, geopolymer ceramics, etc.
  • Applications: primarily in construction and interior decoration.

2. Characteristics and Properties of Ceramics:

Composition:

  • Main ingredient: Clay (including kaolinite mineral)
  • Additives: Plasticizers, fluxing agents, glazes, coloring minerals, etc.

Manufacturing Process:

  • Shaping: Hand molding, pressing, casting, or using a potter’s wheel.
  • Drying: Removing free water from the ceramic.
  • Firing: Firing at high temperatures (typically between 600°C and 1200°C)

Characteristics:

  • Hardness: High resistance to deformation
  • Durability: Withstands impact and abrasion
  • Water impermeability: Limits water penetration
  • Heat resistance: Withstands high temperatures (depending on the type)
  • Electrical insulation: Non-conductive

Easy to Shape: Can be formed into various shapes

  • Aesthetics: Diverse colors and patterns

Properties:

  • Hardness: Resistance to cutting and scratching
  • Strength: Ability to withstand loads
  • Heat resistance: Ability to withstand high temperatures
  • Thermal expansion: Degree of size change with temperature change
  • Water impermeability: Ability to prevent water penetration
  • Electrical insulation: Non-conductivity

Note:

The characteristics and properties of ceramics can vary depending on their composition, additives, and manufacturing process.

3. Applications of Ceramics:

Ceramics are a versatile material with numerous applications in our daily lives. Due to their hardness, durability, water impermeability, and heat resistance, ceramics are used to make household items such as bowls, plates, cups, saucers, pots, and pans; decorative items such as figurines, vases, ceramic paintings; construction materials such as tiles, roofing tiles, and bricks; and are also used in medicine, industry, agriculture, and environmental applications. Ceramics are favored for their affordability, abundant raw materials, ease of shaping, and high aesthetic value. The applications of ceramics are becoming increasingly diverse, fulfilling essential human needs in various fields.

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