Ask the right question to the right people, at the right time: before production
The constant increase in ceramic tile dimensions reduces the technological margins: did you ask the right question?
How to reach the perfect planarity on ultra-thin slabs? Did you ask to the right people?
If every new product involves lengthy tests and adjustments, did you ask the question at the right time?
Expert Lab Service provides the tools to answer the right question and compete in ceramic excellence.
Do not hesitate to contact us to discover our lab instruments and services and also ask for consultancy.
You can schedule a meeting and an exclusive conference call.
To study the fusibility of materials (ceramic raw materials, glazes, frits, ashes, glasses);. More information available
To study the coefficient of thermal expansion and sintering behaviour during firing, also to determing the best firing cycle; More information available
To study the piroplasticity and the state of tension between the glaze and the ceramic body. More information available
Quality control on raw materials, ceramic bodies and glazes; ceramic body formulations; study of emissions concerning digital inks and glues. More information available
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ELS-MDF is the new contact-less thermal analysis instrument able to reproduce industrial heating cycles while unifying the following measurement techniques:
The instrument reproduces in laboratory the industrial firing cycle:
The Optical Dilatometer is the best instrument to study the sinterization and to determine the best firing cycle avoiding any risk of damage thanks its optical technology.
Take advantage of the Optical Dilatometer to study of the interval of stability of a ceramic body avoiding the risk of bloating.
Take advantage of the Optical Fleximeter to study the piroplasticity of the ceramic body, which is its tendency to deform under its own weight.
The heating Microscope can indentify the softening temperature, which must be suitable for the ceramic firing cycle.
The heating Microscope can identify the softening and the melting point. It is really useful to study the fusibility of both raw materials and glazes
Both the refracotry kiln and the heating elements are designed to heat and cool in the short time. The laboratory techincians can use also an electric fan to cool the instrument.
ELS-MDF can run up to five dilatometry tests per day thanks to the optical system and the heating equipment.
ELS-MDF Heating Microscope can run up to four simultaneous analyses.
I was used to study the fusibility of glazes running test at 10°C/min. I couldn’t reproduce the industrial process in my lab. ELS-MDF can now reproduce industrial firing up to 80°C/min (Quality control manager, Colorificio)
Since using the Optican Fleximeter, I have realized that the coefficients of expansion are almost never related to planarity defects and residual stresses. Now I look at the coupling temperature. (Ceramic body formulation lab)
Once the dilatometric tests had to be the very first and the only test of the day. But the ELS-MDF optical dilatometer cools completely in an hour. Being contactless, does not require calibration. Sometimes we run more than 5 tests a day. (Quality control manager, Ceramica)
I can run test folllowing the industrial firing, without fear of damaging of the instrument. (Laboratory manager, Ceramica)
Breaking load is a false parameter, but until now it was the only one that was easily measurable. The combined fleximeter-dilatometer allows to study the residual stresses, the real cause of the fragility of the ceramic products. (Ceramic body formulation lab, Ceramica)
It is impossible to estabilish the compatibility between a ceramic body and a glaze without the ELS-MDF full-featured instrument. (R&D, Ceramica)
The Heating Microscope measurement technique, included in ELS-MDF:
ELS is equipped also with different kind of analysers:
The applications of heating microscopes include:
Case study: Fusibility of glazes, ceramic bodies and frits
The Optical Dilatometer measurement technique is included in the ELS-MDF instrument.
Is based on two optics which are framing both the ends of the sample that is free to expand in both directions;
Allows to extend the range of research to temperatures higher than the softening point;
Works in the range between 25°C and 1600°C.
The applications of optical dilatometry include:
The Optical Fleximeter measurement technique, included in ELS-MDF instrument:
The applications of fleximeter include:
The laboratory run all common analyses concernign ELS-MDF. In addition, it is equipped with another wide range of instruments.
Expert Lab Service carries detailed analyses on ceramic bodies and raw materials in order to understand if they are suitable for porcelain tile technology.
Our lab is equipped to run the following tests:
Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) measures weight changes in a material as a function of temperature (or time) under a controlled atmosphere. Its principal uses include measurement of a material’s thermal stability and composition.
Differential thermal analysis (DTA) is a thermal analysis technique that measures the difference in temperature between a sample and an inert reference material, when they both are heated under the same controlled temperature conditions.
Evolved gas analysis involves the qualitative investigation of the evolved gas products from a TGA experiment. These products are generally the result of decomposition, but can also evolve from desorption, evaporation or chemical reaction.
Evolved gas analysis is typically performed by interfacing a mass spectrometer (MS) or Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) to the exit port of the TGA furnace.
Our lab can run simultaneous TGA-DTA-MS analyses using a thermobalance equipped with a mass spectrometer.
The bending of green tile is common during glazing process. Excessive deformation frequently happens during tile glazing, and it is caused by the decorating machine which sometimes imposes such high deformation on the raw tiles to sometimes lead to the breaking of the material.
The study of deformation after firing of glazed ceramic materials detect the state of tension between the ceramic bodies and its decoration (engobe, glaze) This study takes advatge of both the Optical Dilatometer and the Optical Fleximeter.
Sintering is a densification process occurring during a heat treatment in powders systems, which involves a reduction in porosity and volume (shrinkage). The sintering tests are run using the Optical Dilatometer.
Fusibility analysis can be carried out thanks to the heating microscope, which allows the direct observation of materials behaviour during a heating cycle. This technique can be applied to direct characterization of glazes, glasses, powders for continuous casting, coal, slag, ashes, etc…
The thermal expansion analysis measures the dimensional variations of a material subjected to a heat treatment as a function of the temperature. The thermal expansion of incoherent materials (like sands), plastic materials (like glasses or polymers above their glass transition temperature), extremely thin samples (having thickness of tens microns) or soft materials (like felt or wax) cannot be studied by means of traditional dilatometry.
Sintering is a densification process occurring during a heat treatment in powders systems, which involves a reduction in porosity and volume (shrinkage). Traditional sintered ceramic bodies, like stone-ware or porcelain-ware, achieve densification through mass transfer by means of a mechanism known as glassy phase viscous flow.
It is really important to study the behaviour fo glazed tiles during their firing. Indeed, both the engobe and the glaze can affect the sintering process. This plot shows how the enamel application on the ceramic body changes its own behaviour.
Pyroplasticity is the material tendency to deform under its own weight, due to a low viscosity during firing. The measurement of pyroplasticity is particularly important for ceramic bodies that have to be completely sintered, because during the final stage of firing they develop an abundant vitreous phase with a sufficiently low viscosity to cause rapid deformation of the material.
Expert Lab Service provides tailor-made analytical instruments specifically built for the ceramic industry, laboratory services and consultancy. It is situated in Modena and benefits from the renown experience of its founder, dott. Mariano Paganelli. The company provides skilled assisance in the ceramic field, from laboratory analyses to scientific instuments, from raw materials to excellence products.
Expert Lab Service enjoys the unique experience of Doctor Mariano Paganelli.
Mariano Paganelli shows an innovative method developped by Expert Lab Service to solve issues concerning ceramic industries and the introduction of digital inks. The main focus is digital ink emissions.
Mariano Paganelli is rewarded for his for his extraordinary ability to apply research to industrial processes in an incisive and original way, for his effort to the advancement of scientific knowledge in ceramic production and for the brilliant development of measurement techniques and technological solutions for improvement of ceramic products and processes.”
Contact us to discover our lab equipment, available analyses, ask for consultancy and any further information. You can schedule a meeting or book an exclusive presentation.