Glass and ceramic materials in construction (GLASCECON Group)

Mission

The research activity of the GLASSCECON group is aimed at the design, processing and characterization (chemical-physical, microstructural and technological) of glass and ceramic materials with structural and functional applications in the building industry. Its research is carried out in the following lines: Ceramic glazes with improved performance; Design and technological characterisation of fired clay materials; Waste recovery in ceramic floor and wall tiles; Ceramic materials in the Historical and Artistic Heritage.

Staff

Díaz Díaz, María Pilar

pdiaz@ietcc.csic.es
870365 / 870332

Martín Garrido, Esther

emgarrido@ietcc.csic.es
870365

Research Lines

Development of ceramic floor and wall tiles obtained from the vitrification of industrial waste

The GLASCECON group has extensive experience in the application of sintering and vitrification techniques for the recovery of industrial and mining waste. The GLASCECON Group is considered a pioneer in this line of research, which began in the early 1990s. Through the Ceramization Process, the waste is recovered as a secondary raw material in the formulation of baked clay pastes for construction materials (roof tiles, bricks, paving stones, rustic stoneware…). Similarly, by means of the vitrification process it is possible to obtain secondary raw materials useful in obtaining vitreous materials, glass-ceramics and even porcelain stoneware, which are used fundamentally in floor and wall tiles, both for outdoor and indoor use.

Design of frits for ceramic glazes with improved performance

Ceramic frits are essential raw materials in the preparation of glazes and engobes for the manufacture of glazed ceramic tiles. In recent decades there has been a notable improvement in the quality of life in different areas (housing, areas of social activity and work areas), which has stimulated the development of new building materials that interact with the environment. In this sense, glazed ceramic tile must also evolve to meet social demand. Glazing is no longer a material whose main function is to provide waterproofing and aesthetics, but rather to provide functionality to the ceramic tile. In this way, the glaze has come to interact with the environment and has become a living element with a specific function to improve the quality of life.

Obtaining and technological characterisation of porcelain stoneware materials

Porcelain tile is a construction material characterized by a very compact microstructure and high technological properties, especially regarding water absorption, chemical and frost resistance, resistance to bending and abrasion. Due to these properties, porcelain stoneware has been the material that has experienced the greatest increase in production and sales in recent years, among all ceramic building materials. In this line, the GLASCECON group has become an international benchmark in recent years, with numerous research projects that have deepened our knowledge of porcelain stoneware, mainly with regard to the crystallisation kinetics of the mullite phase, the evolution of microstructure and mineralogy during the firing process of the pieces and the relationship between microstructure and technological properties of the fired pieces.

Obtaining and technological characterisation of fired clay ceramic materials

Throughout history, baked clay ceramic materials (paving stones, vaults, bricks, boards and tiles) have been present in the construction sector, evolving in parallel with the development of construction techniques. In this line, the activity developed by the GLASCECON group is mainly focused on optimizing the design of the piece and its manufacturing process, improving the technological properties and studying the mechanisms that lead to the appearance of different pathologies in the pieces (expansion due to humidity, efflorescence, frost resistance…)

Physical and technological characterization of vitreous and ceramic materials of the Historical and Artistic Heritage.

The GLASCECON group belongs to the CSIC Thematic Network of Historical and Cultural Heritage. In this line, the group applies its knowledge and experience in chemical-physical characterization technique (SEM, TEM, XRD, XRF…) for the archaeo-metric characterization of glasses and ancient ceramic materials.

Facilities and resources

Processing techniques

  1. Automatic pressing of ceramic powder tablets, glass and its raw materials.
  2. Glass and frit melting furnaces (up to 1600°C).
  3. Annealing and heat treatment furnaces for nucleation and crystallization of glasses and frits and firing of raw ceramic samples or tablets.
  4. Semi-automatic injection moulding PELTSMAN machine.
  5. Magnetic separator.
  6. Ceramic slips applicator.
  7. Mills and mixers.

Characterization techniques

  1. Metallographic preparation of ceramic materials, glass and glass-ceramics
  2. Knoop and Vickers Microdurometer
  3. Equipment for measuring abrasion resistance (PEI method)
  4. Mitutoyo computerized reflection optical microscope
  5. Differential thermal and thermogravimetric analysis (DTA/TG) SETARAM Labsys
  6. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC/TG) SETARAM Labsys

Projects

Fertilizing glasses by means of concentrated solar radiation (FIGARO)

Cerámicas ligeras ecoeficientes: energía verde y materias primas alternativas (ECLICESOL)

Eco-efficient melting of ceramic frits (EFFECT)

Determinación del grado de cristalización de materiales vitrocerámicos mediante la técnica de calorimetría diferencial de barrido

Scientific articles