Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Creating Heat Shock on purpose?

Recommended Posts

Hello Community! :-)

I am pretty new to ceramics and I am learning new things about this fantastic material on a daily basis.
For my latest project I am trying to crack/break up old clay bottles with the principle of the heat shock. 

Does anyone have an idea what would happen, when I rapidly heat up a bottle (like the one in the picture) to
1800 degrees Fahrenheit ? My wish would be to let the bottle explode and to create many fragments.
Is the wall of the bottle maybe too thick (approx. 4mm) to really burst into pieces? Will nothing happen or 
maybe just one big crack? Or does anyone have an idea how to make the shock/explosion bigger ?

Thank you so much for your help! 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Clay by itself does not explode. Water turning to steam (at 100C/212F) can cause a clay vessel to explode. A raw clay object that has not dried will explode from the steam and fragments will be found throughout the kiln. Once the water has dried, it will  not explode. There will be a time at around 900F that a very thick piece of clay will break due to creation of new water at the time of ceramic conversion of the clay, but only if the exterior surfaces are sufficiently hotter and the surface has sintered and sealed over, trapping the new water deep inside. Even then, it is not an explosion, merely a spalling of chunks off the side. If a bisqued piece, which is still absorbent, is saturated with water (such as from glazing) and fired before it dries, another steam explosion will occur. But if it has been successfully glaze fired, it is improbable that you can saturate enough water into the now-vitrified ceramic that it would explode if it was fired yet again. It will very likely crack from the steam, but probably not a spectacular explosion as you seem to want.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea is to blow glass inside the bottle and not destroy the old bottle but let's say extend it. 
So in the end I would love to have a glass bottle with pieces of the clay stuck in it. It's more of a
conceptual approach behind the idea. @oldlady the bottle is not an antique, you'll find them here
in the Netherlands everywhere. 

So the hot glass should resolut in the thermal shock. Do you think this is anyhow possible? Thanks so much!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.