Warm Glass website

Information from the archives of the Warm Glass website and bulletin board.

Tips by Date                          Tips by Category    

Warm Glass website

WG Bulletin Board

Refractory Materials

A refractory material is one that won't burn.  The term is commonly used to refer to such materials as ceramic fiber paper and fiber board, but in its broadest sense the term refractory also includes such items as metals, mica, kiln wash, and more.  Refractory materials are essential to the artist who works with a kiln -- in fact, with the exception of glues and binders that burn off in the kiln, virtually every material we use is a refractory material.

The most common refractory materials used by the kiln-former fall into the following categories:

1.  Mullite and cordierite -- used to make kiln shelves and strips for damming.

2.  Ceramic Fiber -- a broad category, ranging from fiber paper to fiber blanket to rigid fiber board. 

3.  Vermiculite and mica --  naturally occurring minerals that can also be used by the glass worker

4.  Metals -- includes copper, stainless steel, silver, aluminum, and more

5.  Plaster -- gypsum based refractory materials include pottery plaster, hydrocal, gypsum cement, and more.

This list is only a partial one.  Other refractory materials include silica cloth, whiting, graphite, talc, and common sandbox sand. 

This is part one of a multi-part tip on refractory materials for the kiln worker.  Future installments will include more detailed information about these refractory materials, including ways to use them as inclusions, as mold material, and more. 


Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

This list compiled from numerous sources, including the Warm Glass board, manufacturer's materials, and Graham Stone's Firing Schedules for Glass.

Click here to sign up to receive daily updates for the Warm Tips website.  These updates will come via email and will alert you as new tips are posted.


Got a tip to pass along?

Or a tip you'd like to see?

Four Corners International, Inc.

4140 Clemmons Road, #320

Clemmons, NC  27012   USA

Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

Designed, implemented, and published by Four Corners International, Inc.