Raw materials are the most crucial part of making quality bricks. Consistent, high quality raw materials combined with sound processes normally result in good quality fired ware. Unfortunately, in the real world, raw materials vary in quality and consistency. Variations in raw materials such as particle size, fired color, carbon content, and shrinkage are routinely measured during exploration, mining, stockpiling, and production. Another characteristic of raw materials that is critical and should be measured and monitored is the level of soluble sulfates present in the raw materials used to make brick.
Measuring results is key to be able to understand how your production is going and if you should make any changes in your supply chain. In today's ceramic market, new tools to measure different parameters appear every year, making it barely impossible to be able to catch up with all of them. However, we have found several that we think might be relevant and a bit more unknown. So this month is all about tools!
Although the EU have downgraded Barium Carbonate from "Poisonous" to "Harmful If Swallowed", it is still treated as a toxic material in various countries across the world. However, its position as the most useful additive for the elimination of salt scumming from clay bricks and tiles is unchanged. For those countries where barium is prohibited, or due to increases in price and reduced availability, manufacturers look for alternatives.