The SANITSER project aimed at the formulation of recycled material-based vitreous china slip for the sanitaryware ceramic industry.

It was realized with the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community, and it was successfully completed on March, 2017.

SANITSER project has been awarded as “Project of the Month” by the Italian Ministry of the Environment in November 2017.

Thanks to the joined efforts and expertise of the 4 partners involved, SE.TE.C., G.E.M.I.C.A., L.C.E. and Minerali Industriali as lead coordinator, SANITSER project team was able to develop a new formulation for VC slip, named SANITSER VC, which contains over a 40% of recycled material, inducing at the same time a firing temperature decrease of about 100°C.

These features lead to a decrease of urban waste disposal, along with industrial procurements’ costs reduction. It also brings improved environmental performances of the overall ceramic production process, through energy saving and reduction in CO2 emissions.

At first the reasearch was focused on materials, to re-formulate a traditional body slip, obtaining an innovative VC slip composed by recycled materials.

The main “actor” of this innovation is the cullet glass, produced by Minerali Industriali in Sasil plant. In addition of being a recovered material, it also gives a technical contribution in lowering the firing temperature of the sanitaryware process.

To achieve the goal of 40% content of recycled materials, Minerali Industriali supplied also the ceramic VC scrap and the F60P-VF, a product obtained from the recovery of historical quarries white granite dumps, located in the North of Italy.

Having identified the range of potential new recycled components for the VC body slip, the path for the design of SANITSER VC slip and new firing cycle spanned over 3 years of studies, from laboratory scale to industrial scale, thanks to the support of University of Milan.

Industrial trials were carried out in four ceramic factories in the Civita Castellana sanitaryware ceramic district. Industrial testing led to the production of about 2000 sanitaryware pieces.

In detail: the study aims to define the firing behavior of glass-bearing slip, its technological properties, microstructure and compliance with the reference standards (UNI, EN), comparing it to the standard VC formulation and firing cycle.

The following article provides a full insight over the results of industrial trials and SANITSER VC performance, highlighting benefits and technological innovations achieved.