Compare fired glaze melt fluidity balls with their chemistry and lights come on!

Sunday 14th June 2015

10 grams GBMF test balls of these three glazes were fired to cone 6 on porcelain tiles. Notice the difference in the degree of melt? Why? You could just say glaze 2 has more frit and feldspar. But we can dig deeper. Compare the yellow and blue numbers: Glaze 2 and 3 have much more B2O3 (boron, the key flux for cone 6 glazes) and lower SiO2 (silica, it is refractory). That is a better explanation for the much greater melting. But notice that glaze 2 and 3 have the same chemistry, but 3 is melting more? Why? Because of the mineralogy of Gerstley Borate. It yields its boron earlier in the firing, getting the melting started sooner. Notice it also stains the glaze amber, it is not as pure as the frit. Notice the calculated thermal expansion: That greater melting came at a cost, the thermal expansion is alot higher so 2 and 3 glaze will be more likely to craze than G2926B (number 1).

Pages that reference this post in the Digitalfire Reference Database:

Gerstley Borate, GBMF Glaze Melt Fluidity - Ball Test, Does adding boron alone always increase glaze melt?, Glaze Chemistry, Mineralogy, Melt Fluidity, Calculated Thermal Expansion

This post is one of thousands found in the Digitalfire Reference Database. Most are part of a timeline maintained by Tony Hansen. You can search that timeline on the home page of