Interesting research group for Yixing clay

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Bok
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Location: Taiwan

Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:04 am

Dr Lu recently mentioned an interesting guy and his research to me:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2179755 ... cation=ufi

He uses some sort of machine to do a spectral analysis (if the translation is right, my scientific Chinese, and Dr Lu's scientific English were respectively not good enough to be sure about the correct translation). The method is non-intrusive, so no pots were harmed in the process, in case anyone was worried.

What seems to be a preliminary result is, that Yixing factory clays were additive free until the 80s. In all samples from the 90s onwards, the clay was not pure anymore and additives have been used. That does not necessarily mean the clay is bad or harmful, just that it is not pure hongni, zini, etc.

I did not dig in deep enough yet to see how many samples had been tested or what the exact set up was, nonetheless interesting to see someone finally doing scientific research on this topic.
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Bok
Posts: 1863
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Location: Taiwan

Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:08 am

Part of the study I roughly translated:
Following the start of 1982, Yixing factory added artificial additives such as oxalic acid and heavy metals etc.
Continues to state economic problems as one of the reasons why starting from the period things had been added. Maybe someone with better Chinese reading capacity can enlighten us...

Once accepted in the group one can also see more imagery, some impressive shelves of teapots, so I guess the tested range of samples was not too small. Seems like an ongoing effort, complete with posted screenshots of finished tests.
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OldWaysTea
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:56 am

I can provide some background on the technical aspect. Based on the screenshots in thepost it appears that they are doing EDX analysis . It is a technique where you put the sample in a machine and excite the sample with xrays or electrons. The machine measures the energy of the emitted photons and charts them. The energy of each photon is dependent on the material that it interacted with. In that way we can find out what materials are present in the sample. Since yixing is non-conductive and there is a desire to preserve the pot, I would expect that an xray machine was used. I took a class years ago, and I belive that electron based machines require a conductive sample.
.m.
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:02 am

MarshalN wrote about this (or a similar kind of spectral analysis) on his blog few years back.
http://www.marshaln.com/2015/11/teapot-testing/
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