Difference Between Porcelain & Glass

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Porcelain household items are often painted with beautiful and creative patterns.
Porcelain household items are often painted with beautiful and creative patterns. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Porcelain and glass are fragile materials used to create beautiful designs. Glass is made by heating and melting a mixture of ingredients -- mostly silicon, with color and texture additives -- into a homogeneous liquid, which cools to a homogeneous and uniformly colored and textured material. Porcelain is created by coating a fully formed ceramic item with porcelain finish compounds and baking it in an extremely hot oven.

Porcelain Manufacturing

Porcelain is made from ceramic articles, such as dishes, tiles or bathroom fixtures, that are finished at extremely high temperatures. The ceramic item receives painting, glaze or coatings that will add to the beauty of the finished porcelain. Porcelain finishing utilizes a number of firing steps. The ceramic item is heated repeatedly at temperatures up to 2,372 F to create the glazed characteristics of fine porcelain.

Porcelain Usage

Highly ornate porcelain dishes are often used for specialty engagements. Oriental artists sometimes paint on porcelain because of the high degree of detail that this material accepts. Porcelain is used for household decor, such as porcelain tiles for floors or bathrooms. Toilets and pedestal sinks may also be created from porcelain.

Glass Manufacturing

Glass is made by melting mixtures of silicone and sand in hot furnaces to create an elastic-like substance, which is formed into its final shape and allowed to cool into a uniform, homogeneous mixture. Glass is 100-percent recyclable; existing glass can be ground, melted and shaped into new glass products. Modern manufacturing methods were developed from ancient glassblowing artisans, who heated these elements in hand-tended furnaces and shaped the glass slag into useful and beautiful shapes.

Common Glass Usage

Glass is used throughout modern culture. The usefulness of glass is seen throughout the world, in products as diverse as home windows, automobiles, decorative household artwork and common everyday dishes. During manufacture, additives are included in the glass slag to improve its strength and durability characteristics. Glass is manufactured in various thicknesses. Laminated glass is covered with a protective film that increases its strength and prevents the material from creating dangerous shards when broken.

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