Porcelain is divided into the following types:
Glazed – the most popular and common one on the market; it is considered the most beautiful and has the ‘weakest’ technical characteristics.
When producing this type of porcelain, a mass for manufacturing technical porcelain is preliminary dried, covered in engobe (i.e. a primer, base for the application of dyes), painted with dyes to create a drawing and finally glazed to protect the design. The glazes are left matte or get polished. Out of the three types above, grazed porcelain is the simplest one to produce.
The end product is renowned for its aesthetic qualities; it can be a middle size, rectified, polished.
Glazed porcelain is marked PEI 2-3 for dark and 3-4 for light colors. Why does a PEI difference (i.e. an indicator of pattern resistance) depend on the color? Because when we eraze the glaze (design erosion), we find a layer of engobe underneath, and it is usually white. The darker the design of the tile, the faster we see the white base engobe.
Fields of application – interior spaces with low human traffic.
Main consumer – private households.
Decorated – a new type of porcelain, which has appeared recently thanks to the development of digital printing technologies. It has certain design limitations, but possesses ‘decent’ technical properties.
When producing this type of porcelain, engobe is not used, which allows to decorate the technical porcelain. This type of product is closer in its properties to the technical porcelain. Digital print is applied directly onto the body of porcelain and is secured by a special type of protection. This makes the design more resistant to destruction and allows us to assign PEI 3-4, regardless of its design saturation.
Fields of application – the light-coloured designs can be used indoors and outdoors without restrictions.
Main consumers – market professionals and private individuals.
Technical – the most impeccable type of porcelain, a true ceramics of the future. It has design limitations, but is renowned for “excellent” technical characteristics.
When producing this type of porcelain, the design is created by compressing powders, pre-painted with natural dyes, into a single monolith with potent hydraulic presses. Notably, the powders in question are obtained by coloring the mass used for production of porcelain stoneware itself. As a result, we get stonewear of higher quality in terms of water absorption and solidity. PEI for this type of porcelain is not applicable as the image does not get erased or destroyed.
Technical porcelain is the most difficult and expensive one to produce when creating a design; so is inexpensive for producing a purely technical product -“salt and pepper” – and light monocolor.
Fields of application – not particularly limited.
Main consumers – market professionals.