High temperature, smooth, medium plastic, vitreous, grey-white firing, refined body for reduction and oxidation porcelainous stoneware. P580 is a variation on the classic '25 Porcelain' mix (25% ball clay, kaolin, feldspar, flint). It uses a blend of 33% ball clays and 17% kaolin to produce a body of greater plasticity. It also has additional bentonite to increase plasticity further to allow us to fine-tune working properties if needed. P580 maintains excellent drying properties and is well suited to machine production since it has high leather hard and dry strength compared to porcelains.

While P580 is not quite as white as fine porcelains, it still maintains near zero absorption for functional ware. Thus it is a material-of-choice compared to porcelains if the fired color is acceptable for your application. However, if you can tolerate a slightly darker fired color, we recommend H555.

Process Properties

P580 is a smooth and slick fine grained body that throws and dries quite well compared to all-kaolin porcelains. Its ball clay complement gives it a robust nature that makes it a good choice for machine forming and even hand building. It generates very little slip during throwing and does not work as well when too soft as do more plastic bodies.

However, P580 is fine grained and thus it cannot be expected to dry and handle as well as a coarser stoneware. If you need to join sections, be sure to follow good practice (i.e. use slip containing an aggregate like molochite, dry ware evenly, use as much pressure and lateral movement as possible when joining, make ware with an even cross section).


P580 fired bars. Cone 10R top. Cone 8 to 11 oxidation (from bottom up).

P580 fires darker than P600 or P570. However, its color is stable across the cone 8-10 range in oxidation and its reduction color is quite consistent from firing to firing.

P580 is quite mature and vitrified and thus produces a very strong product. Thus you must take precautions to make shapes that have inherent strength to resist warping (i.e. avoid goblets with flared bases, flared or overhung bowls). Kiln shelves must also be be flat. You may need to use a little kiln wash or alumina to separate lids and vessels as they can stick during firing.


P580 has a fairly high flint content and is thus easier to fit glazes to than P600.

P580's high strength can be severely compromised if a glaze is under excessive compression or tension. We recommend that you stress-test a piece of ware using a boiling water:ice water test. Ware should be able to survive several two-minute cycles before trouble appears. If you need assistance to adjust the thermal expansion of your glazes, please call Plainsman.

If you wish to use slip on your ware, make it from a base of P580 itself if possible.

Glaze Recipes

You can develop a compatible glossy or matte base for this body from our suggested starting point base recipes available on our Internet web site at http://digitalfire.com/education/glaze/cone10.htm. Information is given on how to fit the glaze to your body and how to customize it it for colors, opacity, speck, variegation, etc. For slip decoration, be careful to match drying and fired shrinkage of the slip with the body since low temperatures generate little glass to adhere the slip.

Thermal Expansion

The chart shown was produced from a specimen fired once to cone 10 reduction in the Plainsman lab and tested in an Orton dilatometer. If you fire to a different temperature, employ different heatup or cooldown rates, or glaze-fire more than once the thermal expansion in your ware may be different than this chart indicates.

Thermal Expansion Chart. Average: 5.5.

Physical Properties

 Drying Shrinkage: 5.0-6.0%
 Dry Strength: n/a
 Water Content: 21.0-22.0%
 Drying Factor: C110+
 Dry Density: n/a

Sieve Analysis (Tyler mesh):

    +100: 0.0-0.2%
 100-150: 0.0-0.5
 150-200: 0.2-1.0
 200-325: 2.0-4.0

Fired Shrinkage:

   Cone 8: 6.0-7.0%
  Cone 10: 6.5-7.5
 Cone 10R: 7.0-8.0

Fired Absorption:

   Cone 8: 1.0-2.0%
  Cone 10: 0.3-0.8
 Cone 10R: 0.0-0.5

Chemical Analysis

 CaO       0.2
 K2O       2.9
 KNaO      0.0
 Li2O      0.4
 MgO       0.1
 Na2O      0.8
 TiO2      0.6
 Al2O3    18.9
 P2O5      0.0
 SiO2     70.2
 Fe2O3     0.6
 FeO       0.0
 MnO       0.0
 LOI       5.3%


P580 mugs fired at cone 10R. Pure Alberta Slip as a glaze outside. G1947U clear glaze inside. Glaze employs Grolleg Kaolin (left two mugs) and EPK (right mug). By Tony Hansen.

Safety Data Sheet

Click here for web view (format adheres to Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals - GHS)

Logo Plainsman Clays Ltd.
702 Wood Street, Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 1E9
Phone: 403-527-8535 FAX:403-527-7508
Email: plainsman@telus.net