Quartz inversion

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The room-temperature form of quartz, α-quartz, undergoes a reversible change in crystal structure at 573 °C to form β-quartz. This phenomenon is called an inversion, and for the α to β quartz inversion is accompanied by a linear expansion of 0.45%. This inversion can lead to cracking of ceramic ware if cooling occurs too quickly through the inversion temperature. This is called dunting, and the resultant faults as dunts.[1] To avoid such thermal shock faults, cooling rates not exceeding 50 °C/hour have been recommended.[2]

At 870 °C quartz ceases to be stable but, in the absence of fluxes, does not alter until a much higher temperature is reached, when, depending on the temperature and nature of the fluxes present, it is converted into the polymorphs of cristobalite and / or tridymite.[3] These polymorphs also experience temperature-induced inversions. The inversion of cristobalite at 220 °C can be advantageous to achieve the cristobalite squeeze. This puts the glazes into compression and so helps prevent crazing.[4][5][6]

The size of the silica particles influences inversions, conversions and other properties of the ceramic body.[7][8][9] The presence of other ceramic raw materials can influence the thermal behaviour of quartz, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ceramic Faults And Their Remedies." Harry Fraser. A & C Black. 1986.
  2. ^ "Sanitaryware." Domenico Fortuna. Gruppo Editoriale Faenza Editrice s.p.a. 2000.
  3. ^ Dictionary Of Ceramics. Arthur Dodd & David Murfin. 3rd edition. The Institute Of Minerals. 1994.
  4. ^ "Dictionary Of Ceramics." Arthur Dodd & David Murfin. 3rd edition. The Institute Of Minerals. 1994.
  5. ^ "Ceramics Glaze Technology." J.R.Taylor, A.C.Bull. Institute Of Ceramics / Pergamon Press. 1986.
  6. ^ "Glaze Fit." R.O. Heckroodt. Keramicos 5, No. 2, 1995, pg. 7–9
  7. ^ "Effect Of Quartz Particle Size On The Mechanical Behaviour Of Porcelain Tile Subjected To Different Cooling Rates." A.Noni, D.Hotza D, V.Cantavella Soler, E.Sanchez Vilches. J.Eur.Ceram.Soc. 29, No.6, 2009, pg.1039-1046.
  8. ^ "Effect Of Quartz Particle Size On The Thermal Expansion Of Porous Whiteware Bodies." J.L.Amoros, J.Garcia, M.J.Orts, S.Mestre, L.Bachero. Qualicer 2000. VI World Congress On Ceramic Tile Quality. Vol.III. Castellon, 12–15 March 2000, pg. 35–37.
  9. ^ "Influence Of The Fine Grinding Of Hard Materials On Porcelain And Vitreous Tableware." E.Signorini E. Industrial Ceramics. No.858, 1991, pg. 174–179.