The Rapid Dry Project For Ceramic Sanitaryware Production

Main Presenter: Francesca Mazzega-Ciamp 

Co-Authors:

Session: Poster Session 2

The RAPID DRY project aims to optimise the drying process of ceramic manufacturing, reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions while preserving product quality. It does so by means of two novelties: a chamber dryer and rigorously modified ceramic bodies. The chamber dryer optimises currently available techniques in a very cost-effective way as to be easily accessible for the ceramic industry and will lead to higher energy saving then currently achievable. SETEC, the main partner involved, has built a prototype chamber dryer where automatic control of dryer circuits, automatic control of humidity and temperature within the dryer, and of impulsion fans distributed in zones with an independent thermal contribution are included. These technologies had not yet been introduced in the drying process of ceramic cast pieces because of the limited technology development in the no-tiles market segment, and the underestimation of the drying process both in terms of environmental impacts and
impacts on the quality of pieces. The second novelty consists of rigorously modified ceramic bodies (fire clay and vitreous china) to optimise the drying curve though preserving excellent performances in quality and resistance. This has been obtained by changing the rheology and the grain size distribution of the slip formulations, and by adding chamotte (derived from grinded broken ceramic pieces). The latter modification of ceramic bodies symbolises the RAPID DRY project objective to reduce the consumption of raw materials from national and foreign mines and quarries and increase the quantity of ceramic waste materials recycled. The impact of the project has been observed from a technical and economical point of view but also through a Life Cycle Assessment study that assesses the environmental benefits of the energy and raw materials consumptions reduction. Moreover, a Social Life Cycle Assessment study has been carried out to take into consideration also the social impacts
generated by the project novelties.

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