Material of the Day: Porcelain By Fahad Almudhaf

Personal Connection

From childhood I had always loved tea. Drinking tea is part of my daily routine. The way we make tea back home in Kuwait is by putting the kettle on hot coal and the water becomes hot that way. Almost all of the time the teapot that is used is made of porcelain so here I am trying to see why that is.

Today's material of the day is porcelain. Porcelain is a very versatile material as shown by its usage which ranges from toilets and sinks to pottery and teapots. You will learn today the advantages of using porcelain to make my favorite drink, tea


Porcelain is a type of ceramic that is made up of clays, flint, and silica

  1. The raw materials are crushed
  2. The crushed residue is then cleaned in order to remove over or undersized materials
  3. The porcelain is formed using one of various methods including slip casting and pressing
  4. It is then bisque fired which is a type of firing at low temperatures in order to minimize shrinkage during later firing
  5. The porcelain is glazed in order to be decorated
  6. It is then fired in a kiln at temperatures reaching 1,100 degrees C

When the porcelain is heated, some of its minerals break down into other phases, which then interacts with the flint to form liquid glass. When it is cooled again, this liquid glass solidifies and becomes very strong.

ChemiCaL compositioN of porcelain

Almost all ceramics are made up of compounds which means that they are made up of more than one element. As a result, most of the bonds in ceramics are covalent and ionic which lead to the properties that ceramics have. These properties include:

  • High hardness
  • High elastic modulus
  • Low ductility
  • High corrosion and wear resistance
  • Low electrical and thermal conductivity
  • Resistance to thermal shock



Created with images by 143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) - "Diwaniyah breathes life to the desert"

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