Pyroceram is the original glass-ceramic material developed and trademarked by Corning Glass in the 1950s.[1] Pyroceram is an opaque white glass material, commonly used in kitchenware, glass stove tops, wood stove doors, etc. ( It has high heat tolerance and low thermal expansion.


Its development has been traced to Corning's work in developing photosensitive glass.[2] Corning credits S. Donald Stookey with the discovery of Pyroceram. While conducting research in 1953 on a photosensitive lithium silicate glass called Fotoform containing a dispersion of silver nanoparticles, Stookey noted that an accidentally overheated fragment of the glass resisted breakage when dropped.[3] This discovery evolved into Pyroceram, with β-spodumene as the crystalline phase, and was used in 1958 for the production of CorningWare cookware.[4] Pyroceram's thermal stability also results in its being used for mirrors in astronomical telescopes.

A transparent version of Pyroceram, with β-quartz as the crystalline phase, was also described in 1950s patents. By 1963 this variant was also being seriously studied for use in making cookware.[5] It would be extensively explored over the next two decades and result in the creation of Visions cookware, by Corning France, in the late 1970s.[6]

The manufacture of the material involves controlled crystallization.[2] NASA classifies it as a glass-ceramic product.[7]

After about 30 years of informal use as a standard in high-heat (≥1000 °C) applications, Pyroceram 9606 was approved by NIST as a certified reference material for thermal conductivity measurements.


Pyroceram was originally a proprietary brand name. Corning registered Pyroceram as a trademark for glass-ceramic vessels and utensils in 1958, and in 1966 added polished glass-ceramic tabletops and countertops to the registered uses of the brand name. Both of those registrations have since ended.[8]

In 1998, Corning registered Pyroceram as a trademark for clear glass-ceramic window glass for wood-burning stoves.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ M. Montazerian, S. P. Singh & E. D. Zanotto, "An Analysis of Glass-Ceramic Research and Commercialization," American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 94, No. 4, pp. 30-35 (2015).
  2. ^ a b "New Scientist Dec 29, 1960". New Scientist. 1960. p. 1708. ISSN 0262-4079. pyroceram.
  3. ^ "The History of Corning Innovation". Corning Glass. 1952 section. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  4. ^ W. W. Shaver & S. D. Stookey, "Pyroceram," SAE Technical Papers, 90428, 1959.
  5. ^ US 3252811  Beall, George, ”Glass-ceramic bodies and method of making them"
  6. ^ " INFORMATION & FAQ ABOUT CORNING VISIONS". Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  7. ^ "Results of Mechanical Testing for Pyroceram Glass-Ceramic" (PDF). NASA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  8. ^ a b "Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)". U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved October 21, 2019.

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