From Sciencemadness Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Ceramicware or ceramic ware is the name used for all lab items or materials made of ceramic materials, such as porcelain or sintered oxides, nitrides, borides, carbides.

Porcelain items are commonly referred to as porcelainware or porcelain ware.


Ceramicware items tend to handle thermal stress better than glass items and do not deform during heating like metal items. Similar to glass items, they are fragile and will break under mechanical stress. Fire clay, sintered oxides are common construction materials.

Below there's a list of various ceramic lab items encountered in the chemistry lab, that are useful for the average amateur chemist. Obviously you will not need them all, but the most important basic and advanced items are necessary when doing any lab work.

Basic ceramicware

Boiling chips

Porous ceramic chips, unglazed, used when boiling liquids, to prevent/reduce bumping.

Crystallizing dish

Porcelain crystallizing dishes are often used when recrystallizing compounds.

Combustion boat

Trough-like glazed ceramic item, used in analytical experiments. One end has a hole.


Cup-shaped containers, used for high temperature reactions. Crucibles made of porcelain are used for low temperature procedures, while crucibles made of high-temperature resistant ceramic materials, such as sintered alumina, tungsten carbide, boron nitride, zirconia, magnesia, silicon carbide are better suited when melting metals with high melting point. Crucibles may have a lid.

Evaporating dish

Evaporating dishes are thin porcelain cups, glazed on the inside and partially glazed on the exterior. They are commonly used to dry solutions, which can be done by filling the dish with solution and then placing it on a heating bath.

Mortar and pestle

Porcelain and sintered alumina mortar and pestles are widely used to grind materials. Agate is another materials used for high quality mortar and pestles.

Pipeclay triangle

Made by inserting three thick metal wires through three hollow ceramic tubes, and tying the wires at ends.

Spot plate

Glazed porcelain tiles containing 6, 8 or 12 potholes, where various liquids are added in drops for various tests, such as qualitative determination of a particular reactant present in a solution. Other names include reaction plate.

Advanced ceramicware

Ball mill grinding jar

The main grinding jar used in planetary ball mills is made of high quality sintered alumina, zirconia or other ceramic material.

Ball mill grinding media

Sintered alumina or zirconia spheres are used as grinding media in various ball mills, either rock tumblers or planetary ball mills, due to their resistance to abrasion and cannot produce sparks when struck.

Beehive shelf

Used to support a receiving jar or tube while a gas is being collected over water with a pneumatic trough.

Büchner funnel

Büchner funnels with fixed perforated disk are commonly used when filtering through a filter paper. They are made of glazed porcelain.


Used in metallurgy to remove metal impurities, like lead from precious metals and alloys. Most tend to be made from bone ash, though fire clay and magnesia are also used. Cody's Lab uses many cupels in his videos.

Hirsch funnel

Similar in construction to the Büchner funnel, they are used in filtering.

Porous pot

Similar in function to filters and fritted glass, can be used to remove impurities.

Porous pot cells are membranes used in electrochemical cells.


Desiccator plate

Perforated ceramic plates which are found inside desiccators, to separate the desiccant from the wet material.

Filter plate

In some Büchner funnels, the perforated plate can be removed, which is important if you want different pores for your funnel.

Incinerator dish

Similar to crucibles, they are mainly used to incinerate flammable materials. Come in circular and rectangular forms.


Like its metal counterpart, it can be used to transfer solid reagents and materials from one place to another.

Storage container

Not often encountered, glazed porcelain storage jars can be used to store reagents, usually in powdered form. Since they don't offer hermetic seal, they shouldn't be used for storing sensitive materials. Sometimes used for storing energetic materials. They are more often encountered in kitchen, where they're used to store food and spices.


Ceramic/porcelain tubing don't have a specific function in labs, but can be used as tubing, stirring rods, etc. Since they have good high temperature resistance, they can be used to safely blow air inside a kiln/furnace, as they don't melt.

See also


Relevant Sciencemadness threads