Ceramic vs. Earthenware

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Ceramic and Earthenware is that the Ceramic is a inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and Earthenware is a ceramic crockery and dishes.

  • Ceramic

    A ceramic (Ancient Greek: κεραμικός — keramikós, “potter’s”, from Ancient Greek: κέραμος — kéramos, “potter’s clay”) is a solid material comprising an inorganic compound of metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick.

    The crystallinity of ceramic materials ranges from highly oriented to semi-crystalline, vitrified, and often completely amorphous (e.g., glasses). Most often, fired ceramics are either vitrified or semi-vitrified as is the case with earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Varying crystallinity and electron composition in the ionic and covalent bonds cause most ceramic materials to be good thermal and electrical insulators (extensively researched in ceramic engineering). With such a large range of possible options for the composition/structure of a ceramic (e.g. nearly all of the elements, nearly all types of bonding, and all levels of crystallinity), the breadth of the subject is vast, and identifiable attributes (e.g. hardness, toughness, electrical conductivity, etc.) are difficult to specify for the group as a whole. General properties such as high melting temperature, high hardness, poor conductivity, high moduli of elasticity, chemical resistance and low ductility are the norm, with known exceptions to each of these rules (e.g. piezoelectric ceramics, glass transition temperature, superconductive ceramics, etc.). Many composites, such as fiberglass and carbon fiber, while containing ceramic materials, are not considered to be part of the ceramic family.The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects (i.e. pots or vessels) or figurines made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials like silica, hardened and sintered in fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, colored surfaces, decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates. Ceramics now include domestic, industrial and building products, as well as a wide range of ceramic art. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as in semiconductors.

    The word “ceramic” comes from the Greek word κεραμικός (keramikos), “of pottery” or “for pottery”, from κέραμος (keramos), “potter’s clay, tile, pottery”. The earliest known mention of the root “ceram-” is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, “workers of ceramics”, written in Linear B syllabic script. The word “ceramic” may be used as an adjective to describe a material, product or process, or it may be used as a noun, either singular, or, more commonly, as the plural noun “ceramics”.

  • Earthenware

    Earthenware is glazed or unglazed nonvitreous pottery that has normally been fired below 1200°C. Porcelain, bone china and stoneware, all fired at high enough temperatures to vitrify, are the main other important types of pottery.

    Earthenware comprisesmost building bricks, nearly all European pottery up to the seventeenth century, most of the wares of Egypt, Persia and the near East; Greek, Roman and Mediterranean, and some of the Chinese; and the fine earthenware which forms the greater part of our tableware today.Pit fired earthenware dates back to as early as 29,000–25,000 BC, and for millennia, only earthenware pottery was made, with stoneware gradually developing some 5,000 years ago, but then apparently disappearing for a few thousand years. Outside East Asia, porcelain was manufactured only from the 18th century AD, and then initially as an expensive luxury.

    After it is fired, earthenware is opaque and non-vitreous, soft and capable of being scratched with a knife. The Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities describes it as being made of selected clays sometimes mixed with feldspars and varying amounts of other minerals, and white or light-colored (i.e., slightly greyish, cream, or ivory).

  • Ceramic (adjective)

    Made of material produced by the high-temperature firing of inorganic, nonmetallic rocks and minerals.

    “A ceramic vase stood on the table.”

  • Ceramic (noun)

    A hard, brittle, inorganic, nonmetallic material.

    “Joan made the dish from ceramic.”

  • Ceramic (noun)

    An object made of this material

    “Joe had dozens of ceramics in his apartment.”

  • Earthenware (noun)

    An opaque, semi-porous ceramic made from clay and other compounds.

  • Ceramic (adjective)

    made of clay and permanently hardened by heat

    “a ceramic bowl”

  • Ceramic (adjective)

    relating to ceramic articles

    “a ceramic designer”

  • Ceramic (noun)

    pots and other articles made from clay hardened by heat

    “many of the painted ceramics are of native manufacture”

  • Ceramic (noun)

    the art of making ceramic articles.

  • Ceramic (noun)

    the material from which ceramics are made

    “tableware in ceramic”

  • Ceramic (noun)

    any non-metallic solid which remains hard when heated.

  • Earthenware (noun)

    pottery made of clay fired to a porous state which can be made impervious to liquids by the use of a glaze

    “an earthenware jug”

Oxford Dictionary

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