Technology

UMG clays for the production of large format tiles

24/05/2016

The clays extracted at the 11 quarries owned by UMG Holding in the Donbass region in south-eastern Ukraine have the characteristics needed to produce high-strength raw bodies suitable for the production of large-format ceramic tiles.

Due to the constant demand for large-format tiles and the market trend towards lower thicknesses, it has become necessary to develop raw bodies with a higher modulus of rupture. For specific process parameters, it is the clay used in the formulation that determines this body property.

UMG clays have the following characteristics which make them suitable for all tile sizes, including large formats:

  • suitable mineralogical composition with a high illite concentration;
  • a particle size distribution that promotes raw body compaction;
  • high specific surface area,  increasing the points of contact between the various components of the body;
  • high dispersion index in water;
  • low content of organic substances: this allows for operations with a high forming pressure, enabling the modulus of rupture to be increased without giving rise to black core defect.

UMG is recognised internationally as one of the leading suppliers of high-quality clays with around 3 million tons of top-quality clays quarried a year. It has reserves of 404 million tons and maintains a guaranteed minimum stock of 1 million tons at its storage facilities. UMG Holding has 4,000 employees, including 1,530 engaged in clay extracting business at quarries extending over an area of 3,200 ha.

The storage facilities located in the ports of Ravenna (Italy) and Castellón de la Plana (Spain) are used for the distribution of UMG clays in Europe, the former through United Minerals Italy and the latter through United Minerals Spain on behalf of UMG.

The chemical laboratory located in Ukraine and at the Italian storage facility in Ravenna constantly monitor the quality and performance of the raw materials to guarantee a consistent quality supply.

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