From Polished Tiles to Digital Printing Polished Tiles
Nowadays when developing period for new products become shorter and shorter, polished tiles are the one with longest life. It has been almost 30 years when Fotao Group imported the production line from Italy in year 1988 and produced the first piece of polished tiles. Polished tiles used to maintain the biggest market proportion. While with the prevailing of ink-jet technology, polished tiles are gradually being replaced by glazed tiles, it’s “King of the tiles “stage will go for ever.
According to the report of national ceramic tiles capacity, there were 837 production lines of polished tiles in year 2014. If we count 330 days as yearly running days, annual capacity is 4.1 billion square meters .Total capacity of all tiles in year 2014 is 10.2 billion square meters, so proportion of polished tiles reached to 40%. But this percentage dropped rapidly in the following few years.
As we know, there used to be 136 production lines for polished tiles in Zibo, Shandong province during peak season.This number now has decreased to be 15. In Guangdong base, after the crisis in year 2015,many polished tiles factories closed and more than 100 production lines in Enping, Zhaoqing changed to produce glazed tiles.
Situation for polished tiles in other bases is not optimistic either. Capacity of polished tiles keeps decreasing . Compared with year 2014, in year 2017 59 polished tiles production lines were reduced , not including main bases in Jiangxi, Guangdong and Shandong.
In year 2013, ink-jet technology was first applied to polished tiles in Shandong. To year 2017, digital printing polished tiles have been spreaded to Jiangxi, Hubei and other industrial bases.
As the upgraded products of polished tiles, digital printing polished tiles initiated a new revolution.
The significance of digital printing polished tiles is to replace stones.
The main process of digital printing is focusing on the double loading layer. With ink-jet technology, ink with permeable function is painted to the double loading layer, and after infiltrating designs formed.
Then tiles go to the kiln for firing, after firing follows the polishing of surface.
Ink-jet printing polished tiles not only accomplish the digital printing, which makes the texture of design much clearer and more optional but also enhances the deepness of ink’s infiltration. Generally, the deepness of ink’s infiltration varies from 0.6mm to 1 mm.
As we know, there are two ways to make the layer of double loading: dry way and wet way . Main technology for the dry way is : spray the dry powder directly; while the wet way is to spray the glaze first,and later carry out digital printing with permeable inks on the double loading layer.
Compared with dry way, cost for using wet way to produce ink-jet printing polished tiles is less. Main advantage for wet way is to save cost as it is very little quantity of glaze to be sprayed first, and the coloring ingredient to be mixed into glaze is also very little. While if to use the dry way, the color ingredient must be made into dry powder first, and to achieve satisfied effect, color ingredient must be filled several millimeter under the glaze, making cost comparatively high.
Ink-jet printing polished tiles have been paid high attention by the industry as they not only inherit advantages like high wear-resistance, high hardness, high pollution-resistance and high corrosion-resistance of traditional polished tiles, but also have the wide color range of glazed full polished tiles .
Ink-jet printing polished tiles extremely enhance the usage of function of tiles surface to be higher than ever. More significance is to replace valuable stones. To the effect of decoration, tiles are more durable than stones, which need maintenance every half year, otherwise they turn ugly.
While polished tiles have very good wear-resistance and pollution-resistance,which make them easier for daily cleaning. Even after ten or twenty years they still look like fresh new .
More importantly, with more and more advanced manufacturing technology of ceramic tiles, natural stones will be gradually replaced by artificial materials. Many natural materials will be exhausted or become very scarce because of human’s exploitation and government will certainly force further development. Polished tiles will become the first replacement.
So we can say ink-jet printing polished tiles are a new revolution of tiles industry. It’s appearance will motivate the market of polished tiles as they are upgraded on basis of traditional polished tiles and considered as one kind of new material of house decoration.
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