Enamels and glazes are used to cover metal and ceramics bodies.
The addition of lithium carbonate and/or spodumene in the manufacturing of enamels and glazes have these advantages:
- lowers firing temperatures and thermal expansion
- increases strength of ceramic bodies.
- improves viscosity for coating, as well as improving the glaze’s color, strength and lustre
Whether lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) or spodumene is used, depends on the requirements of the application. In Li2CO3 the amount of Lithia (Li2O) is around 40%, whereas in spodumene, it ranges between 5.0 and 7.5%, depending on the quality.
Spodumene is a lithium aluminum silicate and already contains silicon oxide and aluminum oxide, which is a major component in glass.
The best known application is the manufacture of glass-ceramic cooktops where no thermal expansion and thermal resistance is essential.
Other lithium salts such as chloride, fluoride, phosphate, silicate, or sulfate are also used in specific applications.
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