Saturday, May 25, 2013

My New Toy

Your authoress is one happy Potterchik today! I've been taking Glazemaster for a whirl, and boy, if any of these test glazes works out, I can't give them my $40 fast enough. It does exactly what I want glaze calculation software to do: allow me to enter the recipe in percentage by weight - the way most potters use recipes - and then it tells me what the molar percentages are, and the Unity formulas. THANK YOU!! It also re-calculates the percentages when you add new ingredients to bring the total back to 100; that's probably obvious, but just think, I'll never screw that up by hand again!

So, I can type in a ^10 recipe, move it to the right side of the page so it is available for comparison; then copy it to the left and start typing in changes intended to lower the maturation temperature. The software tells me as ai go along what the Unity proportions are, so I can make additional changes if the proportions of silica and alumina get out of whack. It also tells me its thermal expansion value - which I'm finding tends to go up when I add frits - so I can keep that within an acceptable level. This should create a finished glaze which has properties similar to that of the original.

I can also compare both the original ^10 glaze and its new ^6 little sister to the limit formulas I got from Cushing's Handbook, and determine if they fall within the acceptable range. I'll write another post with the original glazes and their ^6 derivants when I have some results to show you.

I will say, though, despite my frustration with the first software I tried - Insight - that their reference library and help resources are far superior to Glazemaster. I feel sort of guilty that whenever I run into a question that's not covered in Cushing, I go to the Digitalfire Reference Database.

**hey, just in case you were wondering...okay, you probably weren't wondering...LOI, used in glaze chemistry, stands for Loss on Ignition, which refers to the weight a material loses upon firing.

PS. - Insight apparently does this - the material-by-weight thing - as well; I've just had an email from its technical staff. I couldn't figure it out even with the intro video, but maybe you can. Lots of people do swear by the program. 

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