Flux

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Description

A substance that assists in the fusing of minerals, metals, ceramic glazes, or glass. A flux may lower the melting point, minimize surface tension, coagulate impurities or prevent the formation of oxides. Examples of fluxes are:

- Alkaline fluxes (used for glazes, glass): sodium carbonate (soda), white lead, red lead, potassium carbonate (potash), borax, sodium oxide, potassium oxide, and lithium oxide. 
- Acidic fluxes: sodium bisulfate, potassium bisulfate, and boric oxide.
- Oxidizing fluxes: sodium nitrate, sodium peroxide, and sodium chlorate.
- Reducing fluxes (used in soldering and welding): sodium carbonate, borax mixed with activated charcoal.

Synonyms and Related Terms

fondant (Fr.); fondente (It.)

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 336
  • G.G. Hawley, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 6th ed., 1961
  • Henry Hodges, Artifacts: An Introduction to Early Materials and Technology, Ronald P. Frye, Kingston, Canada, 1988
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • David Scott, 'Copper Compounds in Metals and Colorants: Oxides and Hydroxides', Studies in Conservation, 42, 93-100, 1997
  • David Scott, 'Copper Compounds in Metals and Colorants: Oxides and Hydroxides', Studies in Conservation, 42, 93-100, 1997

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