All common traditional ceramic base glazes are made from only a dozen elements (plus oxygen). Materials decompose when glazes melt, sourcing these elements in oxide form. The kiln builds the glaze from these, it does not care what material sources what oxide (assuming, of course, that all materials do melt or dissolve completely into the melt to release those oxides). Each of these oxides contributes specific properties to the glass. So, you can look at a formula and make a good prediction of the properties of the fired glaze. And know what specific oxide to increase or decrease to move a property in a given direction (e.g. melting behavior, hardness, durability, thermal expansion, color, gloss, crystallization). And know about how they interact (affecting each other). This is powerful. And it is simpler than looking at glazes as recipes of hundreds of different materials (each sources multiple oxides so adjusting it affects multiple properties).
Pages that reference this post in the Digitalfire Reference Database:
Li2O, ZnO, KNaO, Na2O, MgO, SrO, ZrO, MnO, MnO2, V2O5, CrO3, Fe2O3, FeO, NiO, ZrO2, TiO2, SiO2, PbO, Al2O3, B2O3, BaO, Bi2O3, CaO, CoO, Cr2O3, Cu2O, CuO, SnO2, Changing Our View of Glazes, Understanding Ceramic Oxides, Glaze Chemistry Basics - Formula, Analysis, Mole%, Unity, LOI, Oxide, Glaze Chemistry, Formula, Ceramic Oxides Overview
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