Raw materials for ceramic tiles: the proposal by Minerali Industriali

Raw materials for ceramic tiles: the proposal by Minerali Industriali

During the conference dedicated to raw materials for ceramic tiles, held on February 22 at the Confindustria Ceramica Auditorium in Sassuolo, we had the honor of participating alongside Stefano Di Primio, Commercial Director of the Ceramic Sector. He delved into the evolution of glazed porcelain stoneware mixes in the last decade. During his presentation, Di Primio compared the chemical and technological characterization of atomized glazed porcelain stoneware mixes from 2012 to those of 2023, also highlighting the raw materials offered by Minerali Industriali that can meet the needs of the Italian ceramic industry. 

From the results of the comparison between atomized glazed porcelain stoneware mixes produced in our country over the last decade, the significant impact of geopolitical events, especially in the last two years, on formulations and chemical characteristics of production mixes is clearly evident. Taking into account the technological advancements that occurred during the same period, such as the increase in average sizes of formats and the widespread use of technology in the pressing of continuous lines, several trends have been identified compared to the mixes of 2012. 

In particular, an increase in the content of potassium oxide at the expense of sodium oxide has been observed, along with an increase in iron oxide and a decrease in sulfur and carbonate content. Technological parameters have also undergone changes, with a decrease in breaking strength in the dried state and water absorption capacity. 

In conclusion, despite technological improvements in the pressing phase, which have allowed for production with generally lower plasticity of the mixes, the lack of high-quality plastic clays has led to darkening of the mixes. To address this issue, new formulations for stoneware mixes have been adopted, favoring the use of feldspars with lower sulfur and carbonate content. 

Specifically, the choice has been made to incorporate potassic feldspars, potassic-sodic, or sodic-potassic feldspars, replacing traditional sodic feldspars, in order to adapt the behavior of the mixes to the increasing sizes of production formats. 

In this context, the Minerali Industriali offering, both domestically produced and imported, emerges as the optimal technological solution for the needs of the ceramic market.