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Difference Between Bone China and Porcelain

Bone China vs Porcelain

Bone china, a kind of ware made of a lucid body out of 30% phosphate, from calculated amount of calcium phosphate and animal bone. It is comprised mostly of bone ash, kaolin, and feldspathic material. In contrast to bone china’s almost exact composition, porcelain has varied composites. However, kaolinite is often seen as a component. Other materials may be included to serve as its other composites.

Bone china was developed by a potter in England, and it is made popular for its translucency and whiteness. It is also famous for its strength and chip resistance so it has been found to be very durable material. Because of its strength and resistance towards chipping, it can be produced in thinner cross sections than other types of porcelain. Porcelain is a ceramic material known for its toughness and strength due to the formation of glass and mineral mullite within the fired body at high temperatures.

Porcelain is known for its low permeability and elasticity. It has considerable strength, hardness and brittleness. It also has high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock.

The bone china originated when Thomas Frye, a porcelain factory owner in London, used up to 45% of bone ash in his very own formulation to develop a “fine porcelain”. This idea came about because his factory’s location was very closely located at slaughterhouses and cattle markets in Essex, where animal bones were very accessible. Josiah Spode later developed this concept by abandoning the calcining of the bone with the other raw materials; he instead opted to just calcine the bone. He formulated it with 6 parts of bone, 3.5 parts of china clay and 4 parts of china stone. If the bone china originated in Europe, porcelain is believed to have originated in China. It may have existed as early as the Shang Dynasty at around 1600 BC.

Korean and Japanese porcelain also are famous to have long histories and distinct artistic traditions. William Cookworthy, a factory owner in the United Kingdom, also made significant contributions to the development of porcelain by developing the use of china clay and china stone to make porcelain with a body composition similar to that of the Chinese porcelains of the early 18th century.

Porcelain can be categorized into: soft and hard paste, and bone. Hard paste porcelains produced porcelain which are hard and strong. These are still the basic components of most European porcelains today. Soft paste porcelains were made by using a mixture of ground up glass and china clay.

Now, they are mostly composed of quartz, feldspars, kaolin, and other rocks. How bone china is produced is almost similar to that of porcelain and extra care in handling is needed due to its lower malleability and narrower range of vitrification. Bone ash being utilized to produce bone china is widely made from bones of cattle as they have lower content of iron.

The other components in making bone china are more expensive than other porcelain products, and production can be described as more intense. This explains why bone china is priced higher than others; it still commands a top quality status more than other types of china. The price is also off-set by the fact that it is very durable as well. Porcelain can be used as building material, not only for glassware and china display. Modern porcelain tiles are produced generally to a number of recognized international standards and definitions, and are manufactured across the globe in different countries, with Italy being the lead manufacturer.


· Bone china is a type of porcelain containing mostly bone ash, while other porcelain has variable content.

· Bone china is highly chip resistant while porcelain is more brittle.

· Bone china can be more easily manufactured in cross sections, thinner than usual, in contrast to other known porcelain types because of its high strength.

· Bone china is comparatively more expensive than other porcelain products.

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