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An old French term for potter's Clay, the word 'lute' has long been used to describe Putty or Adhesive materials that seal a surface or joint and make it waterproof. Lutes are usually composed of Cement, Mud, Plaster, or Clay. The Romans used a clay cement to set iron posts into stone. Plumber's lute is a mixture of plaster with a weak glue binder. Pipe clay mixed with Linseed oil is called fat lute. Litharge cement has also been used as luting. Spence's metal is a mixture of metals sulfides that is used to seal pipe joints. Lute cements are still used as acid-resistant materials for bonding ceramics to metals and for adhering knife blades to handles.

Synonyms and Related Terms

lutes; luting; sealant; sealing cement

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 474
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998