The Ceramext™ technology produces a ceramic tile that has several distinct advantages over tile produced by conventional high temperature kiln processes.
Ceramext-produced tile are stronger than standard grade ceramic tiles, including porcelain. The MOR on these tiles is generally above 10,000 psi. Hardness is generally at least 8 on Moh's Hardness Scale (harder than quartz).
Ceramext tiles are rated as impervious to absorption, with an absorption potential of less than 0.5%, which are similar in quality to porcelain or granite tiles. Unlike granite tiles, Ceramext tiles need no sealant. In contrast, standard non-glazed ceramic floor and wall tiles are typically rated as vitreous or semi-vitreous meaning they may absorb from 0.5% to 7% moisture, allowing the potential for stains, mold, mildew and other contaminants.
Ceramext tile is produced to a dimension tolerance approximately 30 times better than the ANSI standard of ±1.50%. Ceramext tile is produced with facial dimension control of ±0.05%, which is ±0.006 inches on a 12-inch tile, without cutting or edge grinding. The best products on the market, in this respect, have a tolerance of ±0.40% which requires edge grinding, additional handling and additional cost for rectification. This level of quality is very desirable in large installations because of the associated ease and speed of installation and narrow grout lines, as well as the aesthetics of the overall appearance.
The Ceramext technology can manufacture environmentally green ceramics from power plant ash and mining tailings, quarry fines, steel slag and other wastes that have limited or no other known uses. These products are 100% recycled waste material and certifiably green by various organizations and are eligible for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act passed by Congress initially in 1976 mandates federal agencies to utilize recycled products when available and feasible. Local tax incentives and grants are also available for recycling in many areas. The Ceramext technology can produce a high-grade tile that is a 100% recycled product.
The disposal of waste material generated by mining was the initial goal for the Ceramext technology. The technology has also been quite successful converting waste power plant fly ash into high quality porcelain-grade tile. Some power plants pay more than $50.00 per ton to dispose of fly ash into landfills. Instead of paying to haul the fly ash to a landfill dump it can now be processed on site into high-quality, high-demand products using Ceramext technology.
Actual production costs are still being evaluated; preliminary estimates are that energy costs will be significantly less than conventional ceramic production costs. With a worldwide emphasis to reduce energy consumption and rising energy costs, this should become an even more attractive aspect of the Ceramext technology.
Obtaining high-quality clay material to process conventional ceramic tile is costly. A distinct advantage of the Ceramext technology is that it can be situated adjacent to an existing source of waste material that will have a very low or even a negative cost.
A modern, fully automated ceramic factory using the Ceramext technology is expected to have capital costs less than a conventional ceramic tile factory. With minor modifications, conventional green ceramic presses and electric or gas roller kilns can be used for hot forging to produce high quality products suitable for marketing at competitive prices. Porcelain quality tiles can be made by only screening raw materials, eliminating the expensive grinding and spray drying steps.