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R&D+i for ceramic tiles in the 21st century: Competition, diversity, and functionality

AuthorsSánchez Muñoz, Luis ; Marinova, I. T.; Fuente, Germán F. de la; Núñez, I.; Rodríguez, Miguel A. ; Sanz Lázaro, Jesús; Carda, J. B.
Issue Date2010
AbstractThe Spanish ceramic tile manufacturing sector (which also refers to raw material suppliers and producers of bodies, glazes, frits, engobes and pigments) is facing a most singular moment in its history. First of all, it needs to overcome the economic downturn that started in 2008 before going on to deal with the fierce competition from other countries emerging as competitive producers in the post-crisis scenario. Nowadays, the sector has a more or less homogenous character in which the different companies tend to produce very similar materials and therefore compete for the same market. This paper proposes two alternative but compatible road maps that provide a possible future strategy to diversify the sector’s supply offer by planning its R&D+i to: i) achieve significant production cost savings for standard ceramic products, and ii) to develop new specialised ceramic materials that meet the specific cultural and practical needs of each particular market environment. In the short term, the ideal strategy would be to develop the first alternative in order to produce ceramic bodies at significantly lower firing temperatures than at present, the immediate effect of which would be to reduce glaze thickness and the amount and size of pigment particles, thereby opening the way to mass usage of thin-film decorating techniques (such as ink jets) and even laser techniques. In the medium and long term, the second alternative needs to be followed, to increase the overall added value of ceramic tiles, which depends on the skills and ingenuity of researchers and technicians alike to come up with a wide-ranging diversity of ceramic products.
Description14 páginas, 6 figuras.-- Comunicación presentada al XIth World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality celebrada en Febrero de 2010 en Castellón (España).
Appears in Collections:(ICMA) Comunicaciones congresos
(ICMM) Comunicaciones congresos
(ICV) Comunicaciones congresos
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