Viscosity | Is your sanitary Ceramic ready for molding?
Transforming a soft wet lump of clay into a mug or vase will need expressing yourself creatively and for sure the right viscosity value for a perfect result. Processing sanitary ceramic will be much more industrial and just creative during developing new products and designs. The right viscosity is still important to gain a proper molding result and a smooth production without parts being rejected or - even worse - just trashed.
To produce porcelain, a mixture of water, kaolin, feldspar and quartz, as well as other additives, are combined to produce slurry containing a minimum of water using the dynamic viscosity as the primary quality control variable. Figure 1 depicts a typical setup for slurry preparation. First, raw materials are mixed and allowed to mature in vessel B01 before being transferred to the next vessel B02 where the initial dynamic viscosity adjustment is made by adding additional water and deflocculant. Once matured and stable, the batch is transferred to the next vessel B03 and the dynamic viscosity is further adjusted to the final desired viscosity. The slurry is finally poured or pressed into molds.
In pour casting, a specific residence time is required before removing the mold, leaving a roughly 10 mm thick ceramic layer in the cavity. Before firing, the residual slurry is emptied from the mold, the piece is dried, manually reworked and glazed.
Pressurized mold injection, an alternative to the classical pour method, significantly reduces residence time and increases production.
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