Multi-Purpose Nature of Sodium Silicate

I recently came across water glass – also called liquid glass – on the EnvironMolds website I am well aware that sodium carbonate and silicon dioxide react when molten to form sodium silicate and release carbon dioxide. This compound is regularly used in cements, passive fire protection, refractories, textile and lumber processing, and automobiles.

Imagine my surprise when it dawned on me that the same sodium silicate also enjoys patronage in the world of mold making and casting! The potential of sodium silicate in working as an effective deflocculant for clay slips is still understandable.

However, I had no clue that this same compound would help provide an antique finish to ceramics! All you have to do is brush a thrown pot with a solution of sodium silicate. The painted surface is then quickly dried before expanding the pot from inside. What happens is that the thin skin of sodium silicate first hardens when dried with a blow torch or heat gun while the clay still stays soft and malleable. The pressure of expansion from inside cracks the skin to give the pot an instant antique look. The glazed surface looks quite authentic.

EnvironMolds offers Sodium Silicate in aqueous solution that can be used for ceramics, metal mold making, cement and plaster sealing and also as a high temperature adhesive. It is odorless, non-toxic, moisture resistant, non-flammable and comes at a very low cost too.

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