Porcelain tiles are made from a mixture of fine materials for example natural clay, kaolin, quartz, felspar. Once the raw material is ready, it is pressed (Moulded) and dried to reduce the moisture content before firing. The tiles are fired in a kiln that could be up to 200m long at a temperature of approx 1200 degrees. The combination of high quality materials and firing means the products are vitrified and have almost zero water absorbtion and are extremely hard wearing, frost proof and stain & acid resistant.
The magic starts with the raw materials which are mixed and sent to a press (see below) here the raw materials are pressed (moulded) into shape before being allowed to dry.
Depending on the type of porcelain being manufactured the tiles will be sent directly to the firing stage (unglazed porcelain) or undergo a decoration stage. The decoration stage uses a high defination printing machine which can replicate almost any design, creating random finishes or patterns and making the tiles almost indistinguishable from natural stone.
Once the product is decorated it is sent to the kiln, where it is fired at approx 1200 degrees celsius which removes almost all of the moisture content. This vitrification process means the products have a water absorption of less than 0.5%.
Once the tiles are fired they are sent for selection. This can be both an automated and manual process depending on the product. The products are checked for defects and sizing to ensure they meet all relevant standards. If the products are non rectified they will then be sent to the packing area, if the products require an extra process (rectification or polishing) the products will continue to this next stage before being packed.
Take a look at our superb quality porcelain paving here