Analysis and laboratory simulation of an industrial polishing process for porcelain ceramic tiles

I. M. Hutchings, K. Adachi, Y. Xu, E. Sánchez, M. J. Ibáñez, M. F. Quereda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the design and initial tests of a laboratory-scale tribometer to simulate the development of surface finish (roughness and optical gloss) in the industrial polishing process for porcelain ceramic tiles. The mechanical conditions in a typical industrial polishing process have been analysed and the results used to define the conditions to be reproduced in a laboratory simulation. The tribometer allows the relative sliding speed and contact pressure between the abrasive tool and the tile to be controlled. Measurements can be made of changes in roughness and gloss, as well as of the rate of material removal from the tile and from the tool. The evolution of surface roughness and optical gloss of porcelain ceramic tiles has been studied, with a succession of different abrasive tools. These results have been compared with data gathered from an industrial polishing line with a similar sequence of abrasive sizes, and show that the tribometer reproduces the important features of the process well. Surface roughness and gloss are two important variables to assess the final tile properties and also represent the most useful measures of quality at different stages in the evolution of the final polished surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3151-3156
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Ceramic
  • Polishing
  • Tile
  • Vitreous ceramic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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