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Ceramics is the art of making porcelain, earthenware and clay objects. The concept comes from the Greek keramikos, "Burned substance" it refers not only to art, but also to the set of objects produced, to scientific knowledge about said objects and to everything pertaining to or relating to ceramics.

Historians believe that pottery emerged in the neolithic period due to the need to create containers that allow the surplus of the crops to be stored. This pottery was molded by hand and dried in the sun or around the fire.

From the application of the cooking and from the development of geometric models and drawings for the decoration of objects emerged the pottery (the art of making clay pots).

The chinese They would have been the first to apply advanced techniques for cooking objects. His knowledge expanded first through the eastern world and then came to West .

There are different techniques and products linked to ceramics. The porcelain , a hard and translucent material that is usually white, was developed in China between the 7th and 8th centuries .

The terracotta (“Cooked earth” ) is older since it dates back to 3rd century B.C. It is clay modeled and baked, usually used for the creation of containers, sculptures and decorations.

The crockery (varnished or glazed terracotta), the stoneware (ground with water and pressed to have a greater resistance) and the majolica (which has a particular vitreous finish) are other materials linked to ceramics.

Characteristics of the materials

One of the characteristics that all the materials of this art share is their ability to isolate the temperature and on the other hand, its fragility.

These characteristics make the smelting of these materials and also the mechanization of their formation with tools like strawberries, lathes and brushes. For this reason the way of working these materials is through sintering. It is a process that consists of obtaining ceramic products (also used to manipulate certain metals) from elementary crushing.

It is composed of various phases: preparation of the raw material, mixing of the components needed to obtain the product, forming the part with the minimum resistance to be able to handle it carefully and sintering it to obtain the final product and heat treatment to seal the piece.

The whole process is known as sintering and could be defined as a isothermal treatment of the piece in green to make it one with the resistance that is needed to be used with industrial purposes. To achieve this objective it is necessary to have an oven that can reach the temperature necessary for this treatment to be effective, it varies according to the material with which it is working.

From this process they can obtain more or less resistant materials, taking into account the way in which the material has been worked and handled the tension between the various components.

In the case of porous materialsFor example, vitrification has not been produced, so they are permeable and easily fractured objects. Among these we can mention the cooked clays (they are reddish in color and they are cooked at a temperature of 700 to 1,000 ° C. It is used to make bricks, tiles and casseroles, among other elements), Italian earthenware (obtained from a clay yellowing and cooking is done at a temperature between 1050 to 1070 ° C.).

The refractory materials they are more resistant than the previous ones because they are produced from a series of more exhaustive steps and, once achieved, they are highly resistant, withstanding temperatures of up to 3,000 ° C.

Between the waterproof and semi-impermeable materials we can find the common or fine ceramic stoneware and are characterized by being more refined materials, exposed to a waterproofing process that makes them highly resistant products and that prevent the passage of water. They are used for construction and for elements that must undergo significant exposure.

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