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Interesting about tableware and ceramics

What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tableware?

What is ceramic?

Ceramic is a hard and solid material obtained by heat treatment of inorganic substances. Traditional ceramics are made from ordinary clay or clay and include earthenware, terracotta, stoneware and porcelain, among others. Advanced ceramics or modern ceramic materials are made from inorganic substances of controlled composition, such as nitrides, carbides, and metal oxides.

How are ceramics made?

Ceramics are made from ground inorganic material with very fine particles, on the order of micrometers, and are molded by mixing water and molding pastes or by sintering. The molded part is subjected to heat treatment or firing. The particles are fused together and some components are vitreous.

What is porcelain and what is its composition?

Porcelain, sometimes called hard porcelain or true porcelain, is a type of traditional earthenware invented in China thousands of years ago. It contains at least 50% kaolin mixed with quartz and feldspar in various proportions. Unlike conventional earthenware, porcelain is waterproof and has greater mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance.

What is soft china?

Soft porcelain is a type of thin, translucent white ceramic that looks like real porcelain, but does not contain kaolin and is much less durable. It is widely used in mid-range dinnerware and decorative items.

What is the difference between pottery and porcelain?

The term “pottery” usually refers to ordinary clay or earthenware made from red clays of variable composition. These ceramics are porous and permeable. Porcelain is also a type of earthenware made from kaolin (a white clay mineral, a very pure aluminosilicate). Porcelain is fired at higher temperatures and is water resistant and more durable.

What temperatures can porcelain and ceramic withstand?

Ceramics in general tend to withstand very high temperatures, from 1000 to 1600 ºC depending on the specific type of ceramic. Porcelain maintains similar absolute temperatures, but has a much higher resistance to heat shock. Real porcelain or hard porcelain (kaolin based) should not be confused with soft porcelain (without kaolin) which has a very low thermal resistance and is widely used in tableware (glasses, plates, etc.) and decorations (vases, statuettes.)

Can ceramics and porcelain be used in the oven and microwave?

Both ceramics and porcelain can be used in the oven and microwave without problem, as they adequately maintain the temperatures reached in these appliances. Soft porcelain is not suitable for the oven, although it can be used in the microwave oven.

Can ceramics and porcelain be used in a fire?

Both clay ceramics and hard porcelain can withstand temperatures above 1000ºC and are highly resistant to heat shock, so they can generally be used on fires and electric stoves of any type (except induction stoves). Porcelain has better thermal and chemical resistance and also allows for lighter cookware.

What is a ceramic coating or enamel?

A ceramic coating, enamel or varnish is a glazed mineral coating, usually composed of silica and metal oxides, that is applied to ceramic surfaces to improve their characteristics, such as impermeability, porosity, smoothness or color.

Does the release of glazed ceramics affect food?

Lead oxide has been a very common additive to add luster and fix metal oxides used as dyes. Lead ceramic glaze is not approved on cookware in the EU and many other countries, although it is very easy to find cookware and decorative items in which it is used. Items of this type should not be used for cooking without checking the composition of their glaze and dyes, as lead can enter the food in poisonous quantities when the cookware is heated.

What are ceramic pans?

Ceramic pans are usually metal pans, usually stainless steel or aluminum, coated with one or more layers of a ceramic nonstick coating. The ceramic nonstick is usually metal oxides, such as aluminum oxide and titanium oxide, applied using a heating vitreous sol-gel.

What are ceramic knives made of?

High quality ceramic knives are made from zirconium dioxide, known as zirconium. Silicon nitride (Si3N4) cutting equipment is also produced. Both advanced ceramic materials have high hardness and mechanical shear abrasion resistance as well as high temperature resistance.

What is the difference between porcelain and ceramics?

Porcelain differs from other ceramic products primarily in its transparency, which it owes to a special mixture similar in composition to that of glass and giving porcelain a smoothness and mirror-like shine.


We often say “porcelain” or “earthenware”. We often say “porcelain”, “earthenware” and sometimes separately “ceramic”. But really, both porcelain and earthenware are types of ceramic.
Ceramics are products made by sintering clay and its mixtures with mineral additives and other inorganic compounds. In terms of the technological process, the main and more complex types of ceramics are earthenware and porcelain.


Porcelain is a product of fine ceramics, transparent in the light. Hard porcelain is made up of two natural materials: kaolin clay and porcelain stone. Kaolin clay is mined in many countries, while porcelain stone is found only in China. It is this material that gives us the opportunity to make real hard porcelain.
Porcelain has no pores, it has high mechanical strength, thermal resistance, whiteness and other properties that make it one of the valuable materials for making high-quality dishes.

How do you distinguish porcelain from ceramic?

Very often faience is sold under the guise of porcelain, which over the years loses its appeal. How to distinguish between earthenware and porcelain products?

Experts online store “Baritone” advise to pay attention to the sound. Porcelain tableware has a more resonant and lasting sound. Look at the rim of the bottom, it is never covered with glaze. If it’s white, you’re looking at real porcelain. Hold it up to the light: the porcelain will shine through, but the ceramic will not!