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Pyroceram is the original glass-ceramic material developed and trademarked by Corning Glass in the 1950s.[1]


Its development has been traced to Corning's work in developing photosensitive glass.[2] Corning credits S. Donald Stookey with the discovery of Pyroceram. While conducting research in 1953 on a photosensitive lithium silicate glass called Fotoform containing a dispersion of silver nanoparticles, Stookey noted that an accidentally overheated fragment of the glass resisted breakage when dropped.[3] This discovery evolved into Pyroceram, with β-spodumene as the crystalline phase, and was used in 1958 for the production of CorningWare cookware.[4]

A transparent version of Pyroceram, with β-quartz as the crystalline phase, was also described in 1950's patents. By 1963 this variant was also being seriously studied for use in making cookware.[5] It would be extensively explored over the next two decades and result in the creation of Visions cookware, by Corning France, in the late 1970's.[6]

The manufacture of the material involves controlled crystallization.[2] NASA classifies it as a glass-ceramic product.[7]

After about 30 years of informal use as a standard in high heat (≥1000°C) applications, Pyroceram 9606 was approved by NIST as a certified reference material for thermal conductivity measurements.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ M. Montazerian, S.P. Singh & E.D. Zanotto, "An Analysis of Glass-Ceramic Research and Commercialization," American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 94, #4, p 30-35 (2015).
  2. ^ a b "New Scientist Dec 29, 1960". New Scientist. 1960: 1708. ISSN 0262-4079. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "The History of Corning Innovation". Corning Glass. 1952 section. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  4. ^ W.W. Shaver & S.D. Stookey, "Pyroceram," SAE Technical Papers, 90428, 1959.
  5. ^ US 3252811  Beall, George, ”Glass-ceramic bodies and method of making them"
  6. ^ " INFORMATION & FAQ ABOUT CORNING VISIONS". Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  7. ^ "Results of Mechanical Testing for Pyroceram Glass-Ceramic" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 2010-06-11.

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