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6/18/2002
Sacmi Grèsestruso Rapido:

the future looks great

Just imagine an extruded floor product consisting of large, thin, vitrified, beautifully glazed tiles. No, you’re not daydreaming, you’re seeing the latest technology from SACMI. A new range of Sacmi-developed machines is revolutionising the extruded products field, giving it qualities that would have, even just a short while ago, been unthinkable. To achieve this Sacmi has carefully adapted some of the machines used in pressed tile technology such as roller kilns, roller driers, automatic sorting machines (another field in which Sacmi is leader) and has also developed new machines especially for extruded items (e.g. the cutting machine), thus obtaining exceptional, unprecedented results. Extruded floor tiles are ages-old: their various forms, whether they recall the concepts of natural products (cotto) or technical items of optimum chemical-physical requisites (klinker), always bring to mind rustic-style products. This rustic look has also been dictated by the technological aspects of traditional extrusion technology (split tile extrusion, tunnel driers, large-load tunnel kilns). In-kiln stacking obliges producers to manufacture small, limited-vitrification, high-thickness products that are difficult to glaze (split tiles). Yet today’s market is a different matter. It demands large sizes, high-grade vitrification and good surface-shaping performance so that a wide range of aesthetic effects can be achieved. SACMI has now come up with a sound response to this demand. The solution? Simpler than you might think. Let’s begin with body preparation. The vast range of products, which includes cotto (a red porous product made of natural clays), klinker (a low-porosity product made with ceramic compositions) and true porcelainized stoneware (virtually zero porosity), will evidently require very different preparation systems. The most widespread system is dry grinding, in which different mills are employed as a function of required product particle size distribution and raw material hardness. The ground clays are then sieved, stored in silos and batched to obtain the required formula. Continuous or intermittent mixing/moisturising follows: here, mixing is combined with a degree of wetting appropriate for subsequent extrusion. Preparation may also make use of spray-dried bodies where final product quality requires. The next stage is actual extrusion. Forming takes place in de-airing extruders specially studied for flat extrusion of even the largest (600x600, 600x900), low thickness (6-12 mm) products. All accessories (pressure head, moulds) have been specially designed. Advanced electronic systems keep the key product quality parameters - extrusion plasticity, pressure, humidity - under constant control. At this point the interesting question of cutting becomes essential. We have developed a new (patented) cutting machine specially designed to size flat-extruded products. It consists of a conveyor which moves at the same (encoder-detected) speed a
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