How Raw Materials are processed to produce Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles?
Ceramic & Porcelain tile uses various minerals as raw material to produce the body of the tile. We discussed some of the raw materials used to produce the ceramic and porcelain tile in an earlier article. Here we will explain how those raw minerals are processed to produce the biscuit tile with the help of hydraulic press.
For every production of ceramic or porcelain tile, the raw minerals are first tested in the laboratory at the factory for the quality. The general parameters such as water absorption, strength, color, whiteness are checked with the equipment. Once the raw minerals or clay as they say are approved by the lab, those clay are processed.
We will divide the entire process into three stages and these same process applies to every production and to every batch of the production :
The raw clay comes in different sizes and with lumps in it so first it is fed into the Boil Mill machinery via rollers. Boil Mill is the machine which mills or grinds the raw clay. Boil Mill for ceramic or porcelain are huge metal cylinders with stones inside it and when the raw clay is fed into, the boil mill rotates using the rotor belts. This actually churns the raw clay into small particles. The stones inside the boil mill are variable as per the size required for the final material particles. The capacity of the boil mill also decides the amount of tiles with the same batch i.e. each boil mill material produces one batch of the tile body.
This clay is now grinded and emptied into the underground storage where the water is mixed with the clay. In order to maintain the liquidity of the slurry, it is necessary to mix it continuously. Special motors are used to mix the slurry, so lumps are not produced into it.
2. Spray Drying
The slurry from the underground storage is not pumped into the spray dryer. Spray dryer is a vertical cone shaped dryer which converts the slurry into fine powder. The slurry is pumped from the top of the spray dryer and after it passes through the high temperature, the slurry is dried down into powder form. This powdered form raw clay is not ready to go through the pressing process in order to produce the biscuit tile.
However, that is not possible with the continuous process of tile production. (Remember that the tile factory is in production 24 hours a day) In order to maintain the consistency and ease in production, the factory uses multiple silos to store the raw powder clay. These silos are installed as per the production capacities of the factory. Each batch of raw material is stored in multiple silos but they are never mixed with multiple batches in order to maintain the production quality.
That is the final stage of raw material processing before the clay is fed into the press to produce the biscuit tile. Few of the steps vary as per the product itself. For example, the process for ceramic tile production is simple and in lower capacity compared to porcelain tile factories. While in double loading production, along with the body of the tile, the colors on the top surface are also processed and stored in separate silos.
In short, for every finished tile we see in our house or at work, there is a lot of care and processes going on before they are even shaped.
Hope you find this article useful, please let us know your views or if you would like to add something to this. Also you can check out our ceramic tile and porcelain tile collection over our website. For any questions you can also email us and we will follow up.