Ceramic tiles are thin flat pieces made of clays, silica, fluxes, dyes and other raw materials. They are generally used as floors for floors and walls and facades.
The clays used in the composition of the support can be of red cooking or white cooking. The tiles, both paving and wall covering, are impervious ceramic pieces that are usually constituted by a clayey support and a vitreous coating: the ceramic enamel.
Tiles, anywhere / space.
The extensive range of ceramic products existing in the current market is conditioned by the varied utilities of this construction material. Depending on its application, there are different product types and characteristics. Currently, they are used in floor and wall coverings.
Interior flooring of homes.
Outdoor pavement (terraces).
Floors of public premises (hospitals, schools, etc.)
Various pavements (pools, industrial floors ...)
Interior cladding of houses (kitchens, bathrooms, etc.).
Exterior cladding (terraces)
Manufacture of ceramic floor and wall tiles
The manufacture of ceramic floor and wall tiles have undergone considerable and continuous changes in recent years. The ceramic coatings are normally porous, which favours the adhesion to the wall. On the other hand, the pavements have a low porosity, less than 3% compared to the absorption of water, thus achieving better technical characteristics.
Traditionally the tile has been manufactured following different methods and by a practically manual process. From the sixties, it has been automated and the methods have been quite unified, the most common being dry pressing, being able to continue manufacturing in two different ways:
In this process, the pressed paste is burned to form the sponge cake and then the enamel is applied to it and cooked again to give the final finish.
Single firing process
In the single-baking process, the enamel is applied directly on the pressed and raw pasta, both are burned simultaneously to give the final finish.
For many years there has been controversy about which of the two methods is better. In reality, having the proper formulation of both the body and the enamel, and observing a rigid control of all the manufacturing stages, it is possible to produce a good tile with either of the two methods.
Traditionally the process of biccoción was more used, with firing cycles of forty and twenty hours for the first and second firing respectively (firing of the support and enamel). Currently, the single-firing process is more interesting, with cycles of only forty or fifty minutes.
In addition, together with the economy of the single-firing process, there is a great facility for the automation of the different manufacturing processes, with the consequent result in the reduction of costs.
The ceramic floor and wall tiles are obtained by preparing a composition of purified raw materials formed by aluminum silicates, the compositions being different for the case of ceramic floor and wall tiles in a red or white paste.
These compositions are subjected to a milling treatment via dry or wet to a very fine granulometry, and granulation or subsequent spray drying to achieve a granulate of defined characteristics (size, shape, bulk density, fluidity, etc.).
The granulated powder is the basis for the achievement of the ceramic product and its homogeneity guarantees the constancy in the physical properties of these materials. The granulate feeds an oleodynamic press with a force of 600 to 1400 Tm. which forms the piece to the chosen shape and thickness, for which there are metallic molds of great dimensional accuracy.
Subsequently, the drying of the shaped parts is carried out and glazed with several layers of enamels of different composition and with optional decorations depending on the model to be chosen. Once the stage of enamelling and decoration of the pieces is carried out, they are placed in an oven for cooking in more or less rapid cycles and high temperatures depending on the type of products to be manufactured.
The maximum temperatures depend on the type of product you want to achieve.
The ceramic glaze and the decoration give the tiles their beauty and the desired superficial technical characteristics. In the case of ceramic coatings, impermeability, resistance to detergents, etc., and in the case of ceramic flooring, their resistance to abrasion, acid resistance, etc.
Technification, the requirement of process control, the careful design suited to the needs of each environment and the dedication in the classification, resulting in a product with homogeneous characteristics and in accordance with the requirements of use.