Fused in Earth and Fire: Making Porcelain Tiles


Earth resources fused with fire- this is how many experts and industry insiders describe the making of porcelain tiles. The making of these tiles may seem simple at the surface, but upon closer inspection it will be revealed that there are a lot of things going on in the making of these types of tiles. For those interested in knowing the process, presented below are the simplified steps in making these amazing porcelain tiles pieces.

The step one in the manufacturing cycle of these products is all about the sourcing of the main materials to be used. This step involves the mining of the raw materials needed in making these tiles. In making these tiles, the most common raw materials used are the clay and other minerals.

The second step in the process is the blending of all raw materials. The clay and the mineral mixture are then blended together, and the result is the powdered form of these two raw materials. Once the semi-fine powder materials are present, water is then introduced into the mixture to get into that mud-like texture. The resulting muddy element is then transferred into the large dryer, and the end result will be the fine clay powder. The consistency for this powder is nice- all fine and warm.

The moment the material is ready, then this is the time that the clay material is then made and formed into different sizes, often in squares as most tiles do come in that size. Manufacturers label the products at this stage as the green tiles. Other than this step or the pressing step, there is another process that may happen to the powder material. This process is called the extrusion method and can be performed in lieu of the pressing of clay powder. The tiles that are produced using this process are made by pushing the clay to the mold in order to be shaped into desired forms. Though this is an option for many tile manufacturers, still the preferred way of making tiles is through the pressing process. Once the extrusion or the pressing has been made, then these 'tiles' are then dried in order to drain these tiles of the extra moisture.

The step four in the manufacturing process is the glazing- of course for tiles that are glazed. For the glazing part, the initial step is to prepare the glaze liquid using a glass derivative known as the frit and the dyes. Once the mix is ready, then the mix is poured on the surface of these tiles. This glaze should be applied in high pressure and can be sprayed or can be poured directly on the surface of the tiles.

And the last step in the making of these tiles is the introduction of heat into the tiles- heat that can reach almost 2000 Fahrenheit. Tiles can be fired once or twice depending on the demand of the market.

These are the major processes in making tiles, and the basis for porcelain tiles. The differences between ordinary tiles and the porcelain include the facts that porcelain tiles are known for its 50 percent feldspar content and that these are fired at a higher temperature.


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