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The studio where I work has a bin labeled "ALUMINA" but it doesn't say whether it's hydrate or oxide. I'd like to mix up some alumnina wax to help prevent lids from sticking and am curious if:

  1. Does it matter if it's hydrate or oxide? 
  2. If it does matter, what test can I run to determine which it is?

If it's relevant, I've made kiln wash and wadding using this many times over the years. And when I've ordered it to replenish the bin, I've always just asked for alumina.

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3 hours ago, Chris Throws Pots said:

what test can I run to determine which it is?

Fire some and weigh the LOI. Alumina hydrate is Al2O3.3H2O and alumina oxide is Al2O3 so the hydrate is going to have a higher LOI, about 30%

Like Callie said for wax it won't make a difference, might actually be able to use less if you have alumina oxide but since you use so little it's a bit of a moot point. If you were to use it in glazes for some reason (unlikely) it could make a difference. 

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