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Raw Materials - Overview
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Recipes are lists of raw materials and their quantities.

When a recipe is fired the raw materials break down and contribute certain oxides to the melt. The proportions of these oxides to one another in part determines the characteristics of the resultant glaze.

A recipe of raw materials may be represented in a form which lists the proportions of oxides in the fired glaze. This listing is called the unity formula.

Matrix can calculate the unity formula for a glaze but in order to do this it needs to know what oxides may be contributed by the raw materials in the recipe. An analysis for any raw material may be obtained from the supplier or from a laboratory equiped for the task.

Matrix has a number of raw material databases which store the oxide analyses of over 700 materials. All the calculations done by Matrix are based on the information in these databases.

In the Raw Materials environment:

  • new materials may be entered into one or more databases.
  • a material in a databases may be edited.
  • materials may be deleted from a database.
  • materials may be moved or copied from one databases to another.
  • a material database may be displayed in chart (table) form assisting comparisons.
  • new databases may be created

The Importance of Accurate Raw Material Data

Naturally the relevance of formula information calculated by Matrix is dependant on the validity of the material data in it's databases. In the cases of mined materials which might change over time as the mining location changes, it is sometimes difficult to ensure that what you purchase is accurately represented by the material analysis which you have in your databases.

The maintenance of your raw material databases is your responsibility. It is wise from time to time to seek current analysis for the materials you commonly use. If the analysis has changed it should be entered as a new material e.g. a new analysis for Microwhite Clay could be entered as a new material with the name Microwhite Clay 2001. This preserves the capacity to reformulate an old glaze which used the old Microwhite Clay with Microwhite Clay 2001.

Sometimes the changes are not significant and need not be of concern. Some producers of materials such as feldspars constantly analyze their materials and adjust them by blending in other materials so that the material analysis is kept constant.

Fig.1 The Raw Materials environment.

Raw Material Environment Functions

Fig.1 shows the Raw Materials environment which may be accessed by clicking the Raw Materials tab.

The default raw material database accessed when booting Matrix for the first time, is Local Materials.rmt. All raw materials databases are kept in the Raw Materials folder.

When you move over to the Raw Materials environment the database listed is the Local Materials database.

The various panels display data for the highlighted raw material depending on the settings of the List Filters and the Display Filters.

There are buttons for various tasks that can be performed on the displayed material.

Other buttons perfom functions aimed at the databases themselves.

All Working Environments are Independant of One Another

Work can be done in the Raw Materials environment without affecting work being done in other environments. If for example you are entering a recipe in a Recipe to Formula panel and find you do not have a material in your databases that you need you may move over to the Raw Materials environment, enter the material then move back to your recipe entry and continue with the process.

Follow these links for more information about:

Raw Materials
Overview | Raw Materials Databases | Materials File Structure | Sources of Raw Material Data | Entering a New Material | Changing an Existing Material's Data | Making a New Raw Materials Database | Find / Compare Materials Window | Database Table Window - Material Lists | Copying Materials Between Databases