Heatwork is the combined effect of temperature and time. It is important to several industries:

Pyrometric devices can be used to gauge heat work as they deform or contract due to heatwork to produce temperature equivalents. Within tolerances, firing can be undertaken at lower temperatures for a longer period to achieve comparable results. When the amount of heatwork of two firings is the same, the pieces may look identical, but there may be differences not visible to the eye, such as mechanical strength and microstructure. Heatwork is taught in material science courses, but is not a precise measurement or a valid scientific concept.

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