5 ceramic applications you might not know yet
Versatile, strong, resistant, long-lasting, mostly natural, chemically inert, easy to clean with hygienic characteristics — it’s easy to see why ceramic products and their applications are so very popular. They are part and parcel of our daily lives, from the roofs above our heads to the tableware we dine from, from the sanitaryware to keep us clean and refreshed to the electrical appliances around us.
Behind every great ceramic application, there is a great mineral, and probably more, performing a crucial functional role. It is at this mineral level that ceramic innovation happens and progresses. That is where Imerys aids, assists and supplies producers to create the greatest ceramic products, from the mineral up.
Let's discover just five (of the many) ceramic applications and their minerals that you need to know!
Thermal and electrical insulation
Ceramics don’t conduct heat and electricity, making them ideal insulators for both. They are used to great effect in everything from ceramic micro-circuits or substrates for electronic components to high voltage relays and automotive spark plugs. Producers can determine specific electrical and thermal properties right for them by playing around with ceramic chemistries and morphologies of zirconias, aluminas and silicas, all available in the Imerys portfolio, of course!
Ceramic Large Surfaces
We are all familiar with the enterprising expression “go big or go home”, but with ceramic large surfaces we can “go big at home,” or anywhere we’d like! The perfect alternative to natural stone, ceramic large surfaces offer many advantages such as stability, aesthetics, weight and traffic resistance. Looks and performance are important here, so producers can be very selective when it comes to picking out the right ball clays, kaolins, feldspars & pegmatites, talcs and wollastonites for their end products.
Light, versatile, easy to clean and, of course, easy on the eye, ceramic is the most popular material used to create high-quality sanitary articles such as washbasins, shower trays, or toilet bowls. These make use of Imerys’ large offering of high-quality ball clays, extra white kaolins, chamottes, feldspars, wollastonite and talcs. Recent innovations in sustainability and performance through new reusable kiln furnitures such as ShrinkSan allow producers to cut their carbon footprints and costs by significantly reducing waste.
Ceramic membranes & filters
Perfect for liquid-solid or liquid-liquid separations, ceramic membranes and foam filters are used in water & oil separation, pharma, chemical and industrial & public wastewater treatment. Ceramic foam filters in particular are also used in molten steel, aluminum and iron casting, as well as catalyst supports and diesel particle filters for the industrial and automotive industry. Using the right mix of aluminas, zirconias and graphites allows producers to determine the desired flexural strength, porosity, and thermal properties, fully compatible with shaping processes such as extrusion and impregnation methods.
Porcelaine meal trays
The challenge was to find a sustainable replacement for plastic meal trays in French nurseries that also combats endocrine disruptors. The solution was found in ceramics (of course!), more specifically in a particular lightweight porcelain paste formulation that maintains a clean and white aesthetic. Today, thanks to Imerys innovation, we are proud to say that every day, 20 000 children in French cities such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux enjoy their meals on these porcelain meal trays. This is just one success story achieved by our Ceramics team working in close collaboration with ceramic manufacturers to find and offer innovative solutions to the growing ban on single-use plastic products.
Ceramics crafted from the mineral up
As the world’s leading supplier of high-performance mineral solutions and kiln furniture for the ceramics industry, Imerys mines and processes minerals such as unique ball clays, extra white kaolins and halloysites, chamottes, feldspars, quartz, talcs and wollastonites to cover pretty much all ceramic production needs. This portfolio of quality materials and state-of-the-art production technologies is boosted by an expert design office that tailors any solution to specific customer requirements.
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