34 episodes

Aware of how complex the problems related to the world of chemistry applied to ceramic production processes can be, we want to share our knowledge with those who want to orient themselves or train for passion or profession.
Through a simple and direct language, the podcast aims to be an educational space with a focus on products, applications and processes.
The journey unfolds along the ceramic production lines.
At each stage a topic.
At each topic a critical issue.
At each critical issue, when possible, a solution.

Apparently invisible. Chemistry in ceramics‪.‬ Zschimmer & Schwarz Ceramco

    • Science

Aware of how complex the problems related to the world of chemistry applied to ceramic production processes can be, we want to share our knowledge with those who want to orient themselves or train for passion or profession.
Through a simple and direct language, the podcast aims to be an educational space with a focus on products, applications and processes.
The journey unfolds along the ceramic production lines.
At each stage a topic.
At each topic a critical issue.
At each critical issue, when possible, a solution.

    Ceramic glaze application & technical defects: the tv effect

    Ceramic glaze application & technical defects: the tv effect

    Speaking of ceramic glaze applications and technical defects, one of the strangest and most interesting is the "TV effect".

    It consists of a preferential migration of the glaze towards the perimeters of the tile that produces in those areas a thickening of the glaze.

    The unaesthetic result is a quite regular surface swelling along the edge of the ceramic material. 

    A result that recalls the old cathode-ray television sets and that may be visible even after the firing cycle.

    What is exactly the TV effect? 

    How does it manifest itself and what are the causes?

    What can we finally do to prevent the problem?

    • 12 min
    Excessive viscosity of the slip: causes & remedies

    Excessive viscosity of the slip: causes & remedies

    Viscosity (or viscous friction coefficient) measures a substance attitude on generating friction between its layers. In other words, it defines the resistance of the fluid to its proper flow.

    The barbottina's viscosity values - that is the suspension of inorganic raw materials, water and dispersants that after the atomization process will form under the weight of the presses the raw ceramic body - can sometimes rapidly and suddenly change, and grow.

    In the event of an excessive or out of standard increase, many critical issues may occur, compromising the use of the watery system or even forcing producers to repeatedly stop the production line.

    What are the main causes that can significantly affect the viscosity values of the slip and what do we need to know the proptly act, avoiding the worst-case scenarios?

    • 12 min
    Glazes/engobes bacterial degradations: technical & aesthetic consequences

    Glazes/engobes bacterial degradations: technical & aesthetic consequences

    All process water involved in ceramic production, both tap and well waters, usually contains bacteria.

    And the same applies to inorganic raw materials used in the grinding process to produce the semi-finished products that will later be applied along the glazing line: frits, clays, feldspar, nepheline, etc. 

    Because of the huge amount of water use, glazes and engobes grinding departments can sometimes be under the attack of significant bacterial proliferations.

    Microorganisms' activity (especially that of bacteria) is able to decrease or even nullify the action of chemicals that should provide suspensions with the right features to develop a proper application, also ensuring outstanding technical and aestethic results.

    In this perspective, what are the main consequences of bacterial degradations?

    • 9 min
    Digital inks & ceramic production: what do we need to know

    Digital inks & ceramic production: what do we need to know

    Thanks to the digitalization of some of its processes, the ceramic industry has evolved pretty significantly over the last few years, and in this perspective the digital printing system plays one of the most important roles.

    In fact, the use of digital inks has made it possible to almost totally replace the old decoration systems.

    Their formulation and therefore their production is very delicate and complex, since it must strictly comply with specific parameters.

    What are digital inks?

    What are their components and their most important properties?

    The episode tries to give simple answers to those questions, offering a short identikit of this important category of products.

    • 10 min
    Ceramic glazes, surface tension & chemicals

    Ceramic glazes, surface tension & chemicals

    • 10 min
    Ceramic slips & rheological behavior

    Ceramic slips & rheological behavior

    In general, wet grinding systems offer best performances and best production results only when the chemical and physical features of slips are constant over the duration of the entire process.

    More precisely, this happens when the main parameters of the atomized product (such as grain size, density, viscosity, and thixotropy) remain within a very short range.

    However, slurries may suddenly change their rheological features during production. Sometimes drastically.

    What are the main elements that may affect, positively or negatively, the proper rheology of the barbottina and what do we need to know to prevent and avoid fluctuations, therefore preserving the proper features of suspensions?

    • 13 min

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