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.
In today’s economic climate and with manufacturers desire to ensure strong sales whilst optimizing profits what options are open to help reduce costs in production?
One could probably summize that the “easiest” options available to reduce costs could be raw materials, production, drying and firing and reducing losses - in fact it could be argued that all of these options go hand in hand.
Throughout the centuries of brick and tile making the manufacturing, drying and the firing of the products has continued to evolve to ensure demand, styles and supply are met. However although manufacturing and drying are based on a small number of routes which continue to evolve the firing process has probably seen the most changes over this time frame.
Clay bricks have featured as a construction product for thousands of years with evidence of their use dating as far back as the time of the Roman Empire. It is a material prevalent across the UK's built environment today and continues to be a fundamental ingredient in modern architecture.
In today’s question of the month we talk about bricks and challenges of manufacturing. During last year we wrote several articles on bricks; how to optimize production, how to increase extrusion rates and how to reduce cracking... This month we will talk about brick manufacturing and how to improve the process.
We're getting very close towards the end of the year and inspired by the Christmas lights and the chilly weather we have decided to make a "Question of the Month - Christmas Edition". In this special edition we have gathered all of the questions received during the year to prepare a Top 5 FAQs regarding clay conditioners. Are you curious about clay conditioners? Keep reading!
Reducing the drying time of ceramic production is something that many manufacturers aim. However, it is not easy as it requires optimizing the drying parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, and air movement. It involves many variables, but we can tell you some effective tips to acheive your objectives.
Using a clay conditioner can help in different ways depending on what stage of the production process you use it in, what type of clay you have or even the type of clay conditioner itself.
There is a wide variety of conditioners available in the market, but it's not always easy to find the right one for your clay specifications. Our technicians have experimented with different products and clays and they have a few comments to make.
Reducing variability in materials and processes is vital to making quality structural clay products. Consistency is key to raw materials in the matters of selection, mining, grinding, mixing, and extrusion. Additional processes that require consistency include drying and firing.