Late 80’s the fine porcelain tiles made his entry as an evolutions of the ceramic tiles procedures.
Mainly created for floor tiles, compare to the ceramic, has a stronger body and glaze, making it suitable for any kind of floors application, even heavy duty like airports or train stations ecc.
On the other hand, due to this quick firing at a higher temperature, there are more limits on colours creation compared to the ceramics tiles.
There are 3 main differences on the procedure between fine porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles:
- The timing , it take only 55 minutes in the kiln to be ready.
- The firing temperature, Porcelain is fired at a much higher temperature than ceramics, up to 1250 C degree.
- The most important thing is the clay composition.
The Clay composition is the most important factor because it is this that allow the tiles to be fired for a quick 55 minutes at 1250 C degree.
The Clay for fine porcelain tiles is not locally supplied anymore, but instead it is generally imported as a strong granite powder and can be white or coloured even with pigments addition.
Once received, it is required to properly wash the porcelain clay from all his impurity, the washing process start with mixing water with the clay inside rolling cylinders with aluminium balls, at the end of this process we obtain a milky solutions that goes injected into the spray dryer.
The industrial spray dryer is a big chimney heated in the middle, while the milky solution get sprayed in, the heat will instantly separate any water and humidity making it vapour going up, and pure powder coming down.
This pure powder is now perfectly clean and free from impurity ready to go and being pressed.
Once pressed the body of the tile, because of this clean powder, the body of the fine porcelain tiles can resist a much higher temperature before melting, that allow a better greifications between the body and the glaze applied on top and because of the extremely low porosity it is also frost proof making it a much stronger tile.
With the improvement of the technology it is now possible to obtain a better colours chart and designs, making it suitable for all floor and wall application keeping the strenght feature.