Ceramic Pigment

Ceramic Pigment

Ceramic Pigment

Ceramic pigments are added to glazes, slips and clay bodies to create color. They can also be used to add images to a clay body.

Plain oxides are not very stable and can react with other materials in a glaze or kiln. For example, chrome oxide will react with tin in a white glaze to create a pink color.


Ceramic pigments are colors used to add a certain hue to a glaze or clay. They are generally made out of carbonates and oxides of metals. They can create many different colors depending on the other materials they interact with and how they are fired.

In order to produce a color, a raw oxide needs to be processed and then calcined at high temperatures (1000- 1400 C). This process causes the crystalline structures of these raw oxides to form. The crystalline structure of the raw oxide determines how stable it will be once fired and how much variation it will have in color.

These raw oxides can also give off noxious fumes when they vaporize. This can be a problem in a pottery kiln because it can be dangerous to inhale these fumes.

For this reason, it is recommended to use stains for coloring. These stains have been treated to reduce their volatility and make them less likely to vaporize. This makes them more stable to use and prevents them from reacting with other oxides in the glaze, which can change its color.

Some ceramic stains are also fritted, which is a process that allows them to be more stable and easier to work with than raw oxides. This is a good thing because it means that the unfired stain will stay fairly close to its color once it’s been fired.

Another difference between ceramic stains and plain oxides is that stains contain coloring dyes. This helps them be more bright and vibrant than raw oxides.

Unlike raw oxides, ceramic stains can also be used to transfer images onto clay without altering its color when it is fired. This is a great benefit because it allows people to use them with a variety of clays.

Ceramic stains are typically more expensive than raw oxides, but they also have a higher purity and stability. This is a good thing because it allows you to make sure that your pottery is safe for you and your family. Because of this, stains are more popular with ceramic artists.


During the process of firing a ceramic, some pigments can discolor, or even change their color, as a result of chemical reactions with the silicate melt. This can affect the visual appearance of the end product, especially if the color of the glaze changes as well.

To prevent this from happening, some ceramic pigments are manufactured in a way that they are encapsulated inside a stable vitreous matrix or crystalline structure. This type of pigment is called a refractory pigment and it has excellent thermal stability.

These pigments have a melting point in the range 1800-2000 deg C. It is very important to select a pigment with this Ceramic Pigment melting point, since it can be heated at high temperatures without losing its optical properties. This is an essential feature for a good performance in glazes and stains.

In order to obtain these pigments, there are two different approaches: a first one uses a synthetic method based on mixtures of oxides, hydroxides or carbonates and a second one uses a wet process. The latter method, based on soft chemistry, allows to produce high-quality pigments with very fine particle size distribution and high specific surface area.

Another approach is to use a water-swellable smectite clay as a suspending agent for the pigment. This is a useful option when the pigment has a large particle size and low specific gravity. Sodium montmorillonite, magnesium saponite and magnesium-lithium hectorite are examples of water-swellable smectite.

For this purpose, a slurry of the ceramic pigment, up to 1% of an organic dispersant and water is added. The resulting slurry is then mixed with the raw material glaze.

This mixture is then fired at 1080 deg C. The results show that this technique produces a glaze with better solubility and coloring power than a prior art glaze made by adding and blending the dry pigment by ball milling.

The granulometric size of the pigment also plays an important role in determining its coloring power. Pigments with smaller granulometric sizes tend to have reduced coloring power and to produce different shades of colors.


Ceramic stains are an important part of the ceramic art world, opening up infinite possibilities for potters. They provide a wide range of colors that can be combined to create different hues and patterns. However, the results are not always uniform, and it is important to consider the chemistry between the ceramic stain and the glaze or underglaze that it is being used with.

Several types of pigments are available for the production of ceramic stains, and most have been developed to show characteristics that meet the requirements of industrial applications: thermal, chemical stability; low toxicity and dispersion. These characteristics, when combined with good technical-physical properties, make them an ideal choice for this type of application.

Pigments suitable for the production of stains for ceramics are those that have a high purity, crystalline structures with a high refraction index and chemical inertness. For example, rutile, zircon and zirconia are excellent for this application because they do not decompose at high temperatures and do not react with or dissolve in the molten glass that is the final product.

Aside from these basic criteria, Ceramic Pigment a few other qualities are also essential to consider. These include:

Durability and Long-Term Color Stability

Ceramic pigments can withstand very high temperatures, and they do not lose their vibrancy or color over time. This makes them a perfect choice for ceramic products that will be exposed to extreme weather conditions and UV light.

They are also non-toxic and safe for use in food contact applications, making them an attractive option for the creation of tableware. Moreover, they are a cost-effective way to add color to any project.

These features make them a popular choice for both beginners and experienced potters alike. They can be mixed to create a range of vibrant colors that will make any design stand out.

Inorganic pigments are created by fusing metal oxides, such as iron, cobalt, copper, and chromium, with other inorganic compounds. The combination of these inorganic substances produces a highly stable and durable color stain that will not fade or change over time.


A ceramic pigment is a solid that has been introduced into the enamel, glaze or body during a sintering process. It is an inorganic white, black or colored solid that is insoluble in the matrix into which it is incorporated and does not react chemically or physically with it.

The appearance of ceramic pigments can vary depending on the crystalline structure that is produced during the production process and on the final use of the pigment. Some of the most important characteristics of a ceramic pigment are its color, its chemical stability in respect to phases and liquids that form during firing of the ceramic base as a result of the sintering process or the melting process of the base, its ability to resist wear and tear, and the durability and the opacification of the pigment.

Some of the most commonly used colors are pinks, reds and oranges and have been developed through the addition of fritted (melted together) coloring oxides to a ceramic support, which has then been reground to make them more stable in a kiln. This manufacturing technique has dramatically increased the firing range of many colorants and is a good way to increase color intensity.

Another option is to use a ceramic stain, which can be either in powder or liquid form. Stains are also known as prepared coloring oxides and can be used as an underglaze color, in slips, in clay bodies, in glazes and painted on glazes.

This type of pigments can be either natural or synthetic and are usually used in combination with other pigments and oxides. Commercial stains are often suspended in water and may be sold in powder or liquid form.

One of the most interesting aspects of this method of producing pigments is the fact that waste materials are used, and therefore no extra virgin raw material is added to adjust/enhance the pigment properties. This is a valuable option for the environment, as well as for the economic value of these wastes.

The synthesis of these pigments was performed using a mixture of wastes from different industrial sectors: an electroplated sludge (ES–rich in Cr and Ni), a marble sawing sludge (MS–rich in CaCO3) and a granite sawing sludge (GS–rich in SiO2). They were mixed in different weight proportions: GS:ES (50:50, 25:75 and 75:25) and GS:MS:ES (30:20:50). These pigments were then homogenized by wet ball milling, dried at 80 degC, disaggregated, and sieved below 63 um.

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