Investigation of the ceramic tile industry in Iran and the world
In recent years, the tile and ceramic industry has attracted the attention of many countries in the world. In the meantime, Italy, Spain and Turkey occupied the first to third ranks of tile production and export in the world. Currently, China has entered the field of competition in this industry and has been able to occupy the third place among all countries. Until 1339, despite its 10,000-year history, tile production in Iran was still done manually and traditionally.
Since 1339, with the opening of Irana tile factory, tile production began in our country by using new machinery. Until 2008, the production capacity of ceramic tiles in our country reached 20 million square meters, and after that, with the further development of this industry, at the end of 2011, the production capacity of ceramic tiles in the country increased to 110 million square meters. At the same time as this increase in the production capacity of ceramic tiles, the secondary industries of producing raw materials needed by the ceramic tile industry also had an acceptable growth and now a high percentage of these materials are produced inside the country.
The existence of sufficient sources of energy and raw materials inside the country and suitable markets in neighboring countries provide the basic needs for the growth and dynamism of the tile and ceramic industry in Iran. It should be noted that Iran’s cultural background in producing tiles with beautiful and traditional designs has also led to the cultural background of tile production. Since the beauty of the tile lies in its design and motifs, Iran’s cultural history can become a key feature of tile and ceramic production in our country. To fully understand the relevant concepts, we suggest you read the fundamental analysis training article.
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Stages of the ceramic tile production process
Currently, there are two methods for making ceramic and tile products in the world, and the difference between these two methods is in the way of drying and baking the tiles. In the first method, double firing is used, in this method, after drying the tile in the dryer, the tile is baked once under high heat in the oven, and then glaze is added to it, and in the next step, It goes into the oven to cook again.
In the second method, which is called Single Firing, the first firing process is removed, and after drying in the dryer, the tile is coated with glaze and then goes to the firing furnace. In the second method, the cooking operation is done faster than the first method; But in the double-fire baking method, the flexibility of the tiles is more. In the single-fired cooking method, the production factories have to adopt a more complicated method, and if they are not familiar with the production steps, they will suffer a lot of losses. The flexibility of tiles is so important that many tile manufacturers use the double-fire method.
Preparation of raw materials
The body of the tiles is made of different raw materials, which are taken from different mines and under different conditions. These materials include plastic raw materials (mainly clay), fillers, and fluxes (potassium oxide, sodium, calcium, and magnesium). It should be noted that plastic raw materials mean the plasticizing properties of clay. Melting agents are used to lower the melting point of raw materials.
In the first stage of preparation, coarse and hard seeds should be crushed and turned into smaller materials. In the next step, the collected raw materials are ground together. Grinding of raw materials is done in mixer cylinders that contain crushed raw materials and water.
Preparation of basic tile powder
After the raw materials have been ground in the preparation stage, the initial tile powder should be prepared from the slurry solution that has been created. This process is done by a device called spray dryer. The slurry is transferred from the tank to the spray dryer machine by the pump, and in these machines, the slurry is sprayed in the air, dried by contact with hot air, and poured into the form of soft granules that can be molded on the conveyor belt under the machine.
Powder press and tile shaping
At this stage, the soft powder that comes out of the spray dryer is poured into the molds and pressed. (Keep in mind that the powder materials prepared at this stage still have 5% moisture)
Ceramic tile drying
After pressing the raw materials, now the primary tiles must go to the drying section to remove the remaining moisture from them.
Glazing and modifying the appearance of the product
At this stage, after preparing the glaze solution, this solution is poured on the tiles by the machine. Basically, the tile is moved by a conveyor belt and the glaze is poured over it.
Final tile baking
Finally, after glazing, the tile enters the final baking stage. Baking tiles at this stage helps to increase the transparency, shine and strength of the tiles. After finishing the baking stage, the final tile is ready for use.
Since ancient times, the product obtained from the mixture of water, slurry and soil and dried and hardened by heat was called ceramic.
Ceramics are divided into four categories:
- Refractory ceramics
- Rough ceramics
- Fine ceramics
- Special and technical ceramics
Among these four categories, the following products are used the most:
- Ceramic household utensils
- Sanitary and building ceramics
- The tiles
- Electrical insulators