faq

Can ceramic pipes handle high temperatures?

James Pagni

My question to you is, have you ever taken high school ceramics? Because that is always the best place to have gained such knowledge. Just like in school we will teach you the ways of ceramics related to heat. The first thing to note is that a lot of chemistry is involved in the formation of ceramics, and that's what we won't cover much of today.
So first we start out with some kind of clay. The clay can be a low fire or high fire clay basically meaning that one can take high temperatures and the other one handles lower temperatures. High fire clays like to be fired anywhere from 2,200°F and 2,400°F. Now even the low temperatures of clay are handling 1800°F or more. With the exception of some rare Raku clay recipes that will be even lower firing in the 1300°F range.
Now to give you a comparison to borosilicate glass, the temperature to start working it is around 1,500°F and soda lime glass is even lower.
Now heating up ceramics and glass must be done subtly to prevent cracks, explosions, or really some type of thermal shock from a fast shift in temperature. Thermal shock can also occur during the cooling down of the ceramic or glass.
So assuming that the maker created the glass or ceramic properly avoiding any thermal shock, then it is fare to say that they both handle high temperatures. Although ceramics/clay are worked to higher temperatures by an artist, glass still requires even hotter temperatures to melt the raw materials down in order to make glass rods and tubes that would then be sold to a glass blower.
So after this reading you should have grasped the idea that clay / ceramics can handle the heat of a lighter just like most people are used to with glass. Remember that on top of clay is a layer of melted glass glaze. So even though it is made of clay it is also made of melted glass just like glass. So in terms of heat there is no difference in how the different materials will function with heat.

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