Steatite is commonly used in appliance thermostats where a high temperature electrical insulator is needed that will hold its shape and size and will not wear out during the life of the device. Steatite works extremely well in cold switching applications.
Steatite is used to support heating elements in electric heaters, toasters and ovens. Steatite is a good high voltage insulator. It holds up under thousands of volts without breaking down. Steatite ceramic parts are usually small and are formed from dry powder in a compaction press. The parts are then fired in the kiln. Diamond abrasives are used to grind parts to size for high tolerance applications.
Cordierite is a ceramic used in heat shock applications that would crack and shatter most other ceramic materials. Kiln furniture is made of cordierite because it will survive thousands of heating and cooling cycles.
At Paratech all of our production is placed in cordierite trays known as saggers to be used in the kiln during the firing cycle. Small cordierite parts can be dry powder pressed. Large cordierite pieces are formed by slip casting. Slip casting is a process where the ceramic material is mixed with water and poured into a plaster mold. After a few hours the plaster draws off the water from the mix and the sagger or other shape can be released from the mold. Parts are then dried and fired.