Paper presented to the 10th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Florida, 14-16 July 2014.
We investigate the temperature dependence of the thermal diffusivity for a large ceramic body of a cylindrical shape during firing up to 900 °C. The body was made of a ceramic material used in the production of electroporcelain insulators. We describe the corresponding heat transfer by the standard heat equation and solve the inverse problem by the Levenberg-Marquardt method. The results show that the method allows one to detect the physical-chemical processes occurring in the material during firing, namely, the liberation of physically bound water in the range up to 250 °C, the phase transformation of kaolinite into metakaolinite (dehydroxyla-tion) in the range ~ 450 °C – 650 °C, and solid-state sintering starting at ~ 700 °C.