Masters Theses


"Some portion of almost every writing dealing with the historical development of ceramic products is devoted to describing the application of colors as found on even the most ancient specimens known to exist. A vase bearing the name of an Egyptian king living 5000 B. C. was glazed in green and inlaid with purple. There are many such examples of the utilization of color in ceramics which illustrate to a certain extent the aesthetic tastes of the very earliest and primitive civilizations.

In those early times, only a few elements were known and available that could be used for such purposes. A similar limitation exists even today in that although the periodic classification of elements has been extended to include ninety-six elements, only a relatively small number of these have been found capable of producing color in glasses and glazes. Of the ninety-two elements presented in Table I, as prepared by Robertson, sixteen are listed as whose compounds are colored or whose reactions in primarily ceramic systems give rise to color.

Wyle comments that the number of elements for ceramic colors are limited because one cannot synthesize complicated molecules and influence through their atomic structure their light absorption. Users of organic colorants are better off in that they need not contend with high temperature requirements of ceramic colorants. The higher the temperature the more limited the group of pigments.

In so far as it has been possible to review the literature, there seems to have been no attempt in the past to employ ruthenium as a ceramic colorant. Robertson states that of the group of nine elements which includes ruthenium, there has been very little application of them in ceramic colors. They may not even be classified accurately since in every case so little is known about them.

Shaw in his investigation of the specific color effects of various elements in the field of ceramics has classified ions of ruthenium as being colored, but he did not verify this experimentally.

The potential coloring ability of ruthenium may be deduced from its position as a transitional element in the periodic table. Those elements so classified possess the property of strong coloring characteristics, particularly in the case of the first such triad of iron, cobalt, and nickel. It is known that solutions of the various salts or ruthenium possess vivid colors; and as is true for other elements such as iron and copper, whose salt solution colors are reproducible as glass colors, it is possible that the same may be true of ruthenium. For these reasons it is felt that this investigation is warranted"--Introduction, pages 1, 3.


Planje, Theodore J., 1919-1980


Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Ceramic Engineering


Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy

Publication Date



v, 60 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-59).


© 1951 John C. Williams, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Ruthenium -- Analysis
Color in the ceramic industries

Thesis Number

T 991

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