Technology of Ceramic processing.

Since 1956, TCKI has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience relating to ceramic production processes. Many companies have been able to improve their processes based on our advice.

The processes for raw material preparation, shaping, drying and firing must all for their own function well. The production and product quality must also fit together optimally.

Improvement of the ceramic production processing.

Clients can trust our professionals in the laboratory, the measuring group, the drawing office and the consultancy group. Together they support companies with measurement and advice in optimizing and renewing their production processes.

Of course we can also apply the knowledge gained to other production processes with similar characteristics.

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Mixing of raw materials.

Mixing clay with sand or other additives has the aim to obtain a homogeneous mixture. TCKI advises companies in the ceramic industry and other industries when it comes to handling of clay, sand and other bulk materials in raw material preparation installations.

There are various machines on the market, with different characteristics, for the mixing of clay, sand and other additives. We can assist you in selecting the machine that best suits your specific situation, based on:

  • the hour capacity
  • the consistency of the material
  • the degree of contamination
  • the moisture level
  • the necessity to downsize, mix and buffer

Based on the composition of the raw materials, we advise which machines are the most suitable as far as production efficiency and energy use are concerned. TCKI uses a specific measuring method to quantify the mixing action of various types of raw material preparation machines.

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Shaping behaviour of clay.

The shaping behaviour of clay can be characterised based on different laboratory analyses on a raw material. Due to our many years of experience, we can indicate for each raw material composition which shaping method is most suitable for achieving the desired production quantity and quality.

For most cases we can advise on how the shaping behaviour can be influenced or improved.

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Drying of clay products.

TCKI has expertise in the field of damage-free drying of many types of products. Our vast expertise in the field of drying processes can also be applied to other sectors.

The damage-free and energy efficient drying of wet shaped clay products can only be performed properly if the drying process is completely controlled. Based on our laboratory research, we can characterise the clays and give a first estimate of the required approach.

Measuring and recording
We use a laboratory climate chamber to conduct drying tests on single products in order to search the drying limits. We use a pilot dryer to conduct production tests on site. We use this to determine the correct lay-out, equipment and processes in an industrial dryer, or we establish that modifications in the current situation are required. We can measure and record the atmospheric conditions and physical parameters of the products in dryers that are used in practice in order to optimize the drying process, step by step.

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Firing of clay.

Ceramic products get their characteristics by a firing process, at which, under certain atmospheric conditions, the products are exposed to high temperatures to sinter.

One of the key competencies of TCKI is knowledge about firing clay-like raw materials to ceramic products. This knowledge is based on years of experience in analysing raw materials, firing trials in a laboratory gas-fired kiln, atmospheric measurements, measurements of firing curves, energy and mass balances and the quality evaluation of the fired units.

This forms the basis of the advice to companies about the design and improvement of kilns, adjustments of firing curves and atmospheres and the flue gas and air balance

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Shaping of clay.

The shaping of clay products requires various moulding or extrusion machines. We can draw up a lay-out of the machine set-up and a list of requirements for these machines.

We also supervise projects from initial idea formation right through to the delivery of drawings, calculations and advice. TCKI also uses measuring methods to evaluate and if necessary modify the operation of presses in the ceramic industry.

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Handling of raw materials intermediates and ceramic products.

The ceramic industry regularly asks TCKI to assist in the design and selection of handling machines for the transport of

  • wet and dry raw materials
  • wet, green and finished units

We also advise on the purchasing of

  • loading and unloading machines before and after the dryers
  • loading machines and dehackers before and after the kilns
  • robots before and after the kilns and with
  • packaging installations for ceramic building materials

Based on the set of requirements, we can design a complete, new lay-out or we can integrate the new machines in the existing production line.

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Flue gas cleaning.

TCKI performs ISO 17025 accredited flue gas emission measurements, which are used by the authorities to award environmental permits. Our specialised measurement technicians use our van with measurement equipment to record emission concentrations in an accurate and reliable manner. These measurements include the concentrations of:

  • oxygen
  • carbon monoxide
  • chlorides
  • nitrogen oxides
  • total particulate matter
  • carbon dioxide
  • fluorides
  • sulphur oxides
  • hydrocarbons
  • fine particulates

If the emissions for flue gas components exceed the limits, we can on behalf of the client draw up a list of requirements for flue gas cleaning, request and compare quotes, supervise the implementation of a new installation and provide acceptance measurements upon completion.

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Engineering.

In the ceramic industry TCKI performs the engineering and the entire permit course for complete production plants. In consultation with the client, we can design, supervise the whole stretch and assist in realising the entire project. First we use laboratory tests to determine which clay preparation, moulding, drying process and firing processes are required to manufacture the product desired. We define the technical lay-out based on the raw materials composition and the product definition.

And we do much more:

  • draw up list of requirements for suppliers
  • request for competing quotes, compare and discuss them
  • request essential permits based on foreseen emissions, computer mathematical sound and flue gas diffusion models, drawings and descriptions
  • make and submit calculations and drawings for construction permits
  • prepare orders and draw up a project plan based on a thorough evaluation of detailed drawings, calculations and quotes
  • communicate independently with various suppliers
  • supervise and provide acceptance protocols for a project upon completion

TCKI is able to perform and to supervise all essential project activities in a centralised manner, in order to ensure a prompt completion of the project.

We would be happy to further support you.