Five glazes to be dry applied on single fired and double fired floor and wall tiles have been developed. Three glazes were in the form of spray dried powders, to be applied by dust pressing glazing; two glazes were in the form of milled frits, to be applied by spreading/drop.
Both the respective production and application processes have been designed, developed and realised at pilot scale.
It has been found that the glazed tiles produced by spreading/drop have good surface characteristics (in particular, beside a full compliance with the standard requirements, a very compact structure, compared to the conventional glazes for wet application), and costs which make these products very promising, from the cost/benefit ratio point of view. Moreover, water consumptions associated to the whole glaze cycle (from glaze preparation to glaze application) resulted appreciably reduced, in comparison with the conventional glazes and glaze production and application processes.
The aim of the research project is to develop new glazes and new dry glazing technologies for single fired floor and wall tiles. These new glazes and technologies should allow to overcome the main technical and technological limitations still existing in the production of floor and wall glazed tiles, and thus allow to achieve the following concrete and verifiable objectives:
A. Minimization of water consumption and wasting;
B. Fully automatized application and control of the glaze (with glaze preparation on line);
C. Complete recovery and recycle of the excess glaze, and thus neither waste nor residues production;
D. Full constancy and reproducibility of the glazed products;
E. Possibility of obtaining even tint, gloss and smooth glazed surfaces (which cannot be obtained with the actual dry glazing techniques);
F. Possibility of obtaining very compact glazes, with high reliability as far as stain resistance, abrasion resistance and cleanability are concerned
If these objectives will have been reached, the European ceramic tile industry will have important technical, economic and environmental benefits, and will improve its competitiveness against the increasing expansion of the extra-European tile industries in the international market.
The research activities include:
A. A laboratory scale experimentation, to develop the new dry glazes and study their application characteristics;
B. A design phase for new glaze application processes and equipments, suitable to give glazed surfaces with the specified characteristics;
C. A pilot line experimentation in order to optimize the new glazing process, as well as to verify the achievement of all the above listed objectives.
Environmental impact and possible environmental benefits of the new technologies will be also considered and characterized all over the RTD activity. The new glazing process developed will be finally qualified according to the above mentioned specification, as well as in terms of production flexibility, production management, quality management, reliability, overall production costs, in order to assess the possibilities and conditions for industrialization.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
12110 Alcora (Castellon)