Laboratory Experiences in Glasses and Traditional Ceramics


In the Ceramic Engineering department at the University of Missouri-Rolla, students develop strong experimental skills through a series of laboratory classes. At the sophomore level, students explore a variety of processing and characterization methods. Two specific examples of laboratory exercises are discussed in this paper: 1) the formulation and fabrication of triaxial porcelains, and 2) the processing and characterization of glasses. As the name suggests, triaxial porcelains contain three components, clay, feldspar and flint. Each plays an important role in the processing, microstructure development, and final properties of the ceramic. Understanding the function of each component during processing and in the final fired ceramic is important so that compositions can be designed for use with specific forming methods or to meet performance specifications. The role of each component in forming and in the fired component is described and a simple design exercise is outlined. Glasses are fascinating because of their unusual structure and properties. Within certain compositional windows, the properties of glasses such as density, thermal expansion coefficient, refractive index, and glass transition temperature are linearly dependent upon composition. An experiment is described in which students prepare and characterize a series of glasses to elucidate relationships between composition and properties.

Meeting Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Vive L'ingenieur (2002: Jun. 16-19, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Careers; Ceramic engineering; Challenges; Skills; Absorption; Ceramic materials; Curricula; Fabrication; Glass transition; Microstructure; Performance; Personnel training; Students; Sustainable development; Engineering education

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type




Publication Date

19 Jun 2002

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