For many years, bentonite has been introduced in ceramic bodies to enhance plasticity in an economic way. However, its use in ceramics is not only bringing advantages but also some inconveniences related to its ability to increase plasticity. Its layer structure is responsible for these properties.
Once you have decided that using a clay additive will be the best solution for your production problem, you have to decide what quantity is the best for your specific production process.
Blake Stacey, technical consultant in Real Material Solutions (https://real-mat-sol.com) who has worked for many years in the ceramics sector, has written a testimony about solving production problems and finding the best way to work with the difficult clays on Western Australia. Here we share some of his thoughts:
One of the most frequently asked questions we get is where to introduce the clay additive during the manufacturing process. This month we will recommend you where to place your conditioner.
Structural bricks provide greater insulation, more protection from the elements, and the appeal and durability that have always made clay brick a desirable building material. The manufacturing of large structural clay brick presents challenges to brick makers in two of the critical processes involved in brick making, extrusion and drying. In this blog we will focus on the drying part of the process.
Last week Munich hosted one of the largest ceramic exhibitions: Ceramitec 2018. From 10-13 April the international ceramics industry gathered around the exhibition, which was, in general terms, really successful. In case you couldn't attend, we were there to be able to show you.
When it comes to the use of ceramic additives, we must be 100% sure that the one that we are using is the best for their production process. We have talked about different ways to optimize ceramic production processes in several blog articles and we even wrote a blog post on the benefits of using additives in a brick production. However, we have received many questions about how additives can affect a manufacturing process. We will try to answer all of the questions as well as we can. This month's question is: "will the additive block my extruder if there's a production break?"
In August 2017, humans had already used up more natural resources than the Earth could renew for the whole year. This means that last year, humanity lived on “credit” from the Earth from August to December. There are studies predicting a consumption of 2 whole planets every year by the year 2050. Our ecological footprint as a society is increasing and we are reaching Earth Overshoot day each year earlier. You can calculate your ecological footprint and surprise yourself with how many planets you would need to keep up with your lifestyle. Our planet is crying out for help and we need to understand the urge for a more sustainable style of living.
New aesthetics aligned with new technical requirements in the extrusion of ceramic bodies are demanding a new approach when it comes to additives’ requirements. In the past, lubrication and proper rheology were highly appreciated, but today there are other properties that should be taken into consideration if defects such as cracks, laminations, scumming, etc. can’t appear along the process, mainly due to the higher technical requirements of the raw materials.
Tile sizes have been increasing lately not only because large tiles have become a trend, also because of the improvement in the technology that allows to make these tiles. In some of our blog posts we already talked about trends in the market and about avoiding breakage in large tiles but, how big can a tile reach to be?