AMI supplies two large segments of the ceramics industry. Slip casting is a technique for the mass-production of ceramic bodies, especially for complex shapes. A liquid clay body slip (usually mixed in a blunger) is poured into plaster molds and allowed to form a layer, the cast, on the inside cavity of the mold. In a solid cast mold, ceramic objects are surrounded by plaster on all sides with a reservoir for slip. For a hollow cast mold, once the plaster has absorbed most of the liquid from the outside layer of clay the remaining slip is poured off for later use. The cast piece is removed from the mold, trimmed and allowed to dry. This produces a greenware piece which is then dried before firing. The technique is suited to the production of complex shapes, and is commonly used for sanitary ware, such as toilets and basins.
Ceramic Bodies and Tiles
Kaolin clay (commonly called China clay) is a primary source of clay used in sanitaryware and tiles for its whiteness, chemical inertness, fine uniform particle size, plasticity and absence of coarse impurities. AMI is a global supplier to this market with it’s Acti-Min® WC-5 product. It is shipped in bulk bags, bulk rail and export shipping container deliveries from its Gordon, Georgia processing plant.
A technically advanced product for sanitaryware is Acti-Cast® ECS Engineered Casting System. It is a complete plastic slip component for simplified, predictable and faster sanitaryware casting with reduced cost.
Reliable casting slip performance requires excellent control of oxides, particles size and plasticity… all are designed into Acti-Cast ECS Engineered Casting System for sanitaryware. This kaolin-based engineered product simplifies slip formulations and preparation by minimizing variability through complete replacement of ball clay and all other plastic components. Acti-Cast ECS-based slips have more predictable and faster casting with improved performance leading to higher yields and lower operating costs. This system is especially well-suited for pressure casting.
Acti-Gel® 208 additive improves the overall quality of finished glaze with improved smoothness and gloss without pinholes and pop-offs, while increasing glaze-body adhesion. In addition Acti-Gel 208 has demonstrated process advantages like reduced dry times, overspray, settling, glaze dripping and sagging. It eliminates glaze runoff and hard-packing. Acti-Gel 208 offers greater formulating latitude to replace other ingredients that are known to create certain quality problems, like pinholes, as well as reduce costs. For example, kaolin and CMC can be reduces by as much as 50%, and Bentone EW & sodium hexametaphosphate can be completely removed. The reduction of kaolin can directly reduce the grinding times.
In many different types of glazes Acti-Gel® 208 has demonstrated improvements in processing, raw material reduction and, most importantly, the finished quality of the glazed piece. Acti-Gel® 208 offers greater formulating latitude to replace other ingredients that are known to create certain quality problems, like pinholes. Some examples are:
Frit Tile Glaze – Acti-Gel® 208 allows a 50% reduction in kaolin and complete removal of Bentone EW & sodium hexametaphosphate.
Rotary Disc Tile Glaze – Acti-Gel® 208 can eliminate the use of Bentonite and STPP and reduce kaolin and CMC by half. Grinding times are lower as well due to less kaolin in the formula.
Let us show you how Acti-Gel® 208 can improve your production with these benefits in glazes:
- Reduce dry times by up to 75%
- Smoother, glossier surface finish
- Reduce blistering or “pop-off’s” and pinholes.
- Higher glaze-body adhesion
- Better spray properties
- Reduce or eliminate CMC, HMS, bentonite, and kaolin while achieving the same density and viscosity.
- Excellent anti-settling, with reduced segregation and no hard packing
- Reduce glaze dripping and sagging and eliminate glaze runoff
- Lower costs