The innovation in the ceramic industry

Contact persons: Chiara Zanelli, Michele Dondi
Involved persons: Sonia ConteRoberto Soldati –  Chiara MolinariGuia Guarini

ISTEC-CNR is performing the research activity and development of new materials, systems and processes for the ceramic industry. In particular, the activity is focused on the behaviour of raw materials, the properties of ceramic materials, and the products and process innovation. In details, the fields of interest are:

  • Development of innovative products. Design, testing and characterization of ceramic building materials (tiles, clay bricks, refractory, tableware, sanitaryware, lightweight aggragates). Set up of new formulation and improvement of the industrial products performances.
  • Characterization and development of new systems for building and furniture, in details ceramic tiles and inorganic and organic-inorganic compounds, for example slabs with large dimensions and thin thickness.
  • Study and development of innovative process. Assessment of the dependence of the properties of semifinished and finished products on the working conditions. Influence of the process variables on the main chemico-physical and technological performances of ceramic materials.

Execution of analyses according to current standards on ceramic tiles, clay bricks, sanitaryware, tableware and refractory materials.

Consultancy activity aimed at the specific ceramic manufacturing problems.

Development of analytical procedures and their transfer to manufactories

Equipment and processes

Design, synthesis, testing and characterization of the ceramic materials. Study of the dependence of the chemico-physical, mechanical-tribological thermal, microstructural and functional properties of the semifinished and fired products on the working conditions.

Simulation of the industrial process at laboratory scale for traditional ceramic materials: raw material selection, mixing,  grinding, drying, powder deagglomeration, humidification, pressing/extrusion, drying, firing (for example in electric roller kiln).

Detailed characterization, in accordance to current standards, of the materials in the different processes steps: pressing expansion, bending strength (ISO 10545-4), shrinkage (ASTM C 326), bulk density and water absorption (ISO 10545-3), etc.

Fired products: mineralogical composition (XRPD – Rietvedl Method),chemico-physical properties, mechanical and tribological properties, microstructural analysis (ICP, SEM, EDS, XRD, PSD, BET, MIP, EAS), surface properties.

Main collaborations

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara (FE);
Centro Ceramico in Bologna (BO);
Institute for Construction Technologies, National Research Council (ITC-CNR), San Giuliano Milanese (MI).