Revolutionary thinking: Wafer-thin ceramic walls that truly break the mould
A revolution in the formal language of ceramics SaphirKeramik is used when a design includes very delicate, thinwalled shapes and tight radii, which in the past were generally realized using mineral casting, glass or enamelled steel.
The innovative and valuable SaphirKeramik formulation gives the starting material unprecedented possibilities and scope in terms of material design. Edge radii of 1–2 mm are thus technically feasible – state-of-the-art technology values are currently a minimum of 7–8 mm.
Dr. W. Fischer, Research Director of LAUFEN, states that there is now a whole new range of fashioning possibilities for ceramic, with far greater finesse than in the past while retaining the traditional production process. The new design characteristics of this innovative material are rooted in its exceptional hardness and strength.
The hardness of the high-performance material is achieved by adding the mineral corundum (AI2O3), which is colourless in its pure form and eponymous with this new clay ceramic. By mixing the clay with the silicate raw material, SaphirKeramik acquires a bright white colour.
The new ceramic is perceptibly sturdier and has greater flexural strength. LAUFEN can use a thinner ceramic body and a simpler structure to reduce the weight compared with conventional ceramic. The benefits are manifold: lower raw material costs and energy consumption in production and transportation. SaphirKeramik does not replace existing formulations; instead, it extends the range of material expressions.
The result of lengthy technoeco- logical research by Laufen, twice-as-strong, more ecological and thinner than ceramic.
Stunning performance, granted; but also necessary in a society aiming at reducing consumption, that loves simplicity, and that is looking for a dynamic relationship with sensual pleasure.
The result is clear to see - ceramics with thin, almost live edges: living square bowls and the washbasins out of the Kartell by Laufen collection.
THERE IS MORE TO COME
In the next stage of this ongoing process of exploring the material’s potentials, Laufen is collaborating with two highly innovative designers, who are harnessing the material’s potential for yielding slender yet super-strong forms. At Salone del Mobile 2014 LAUFEN revealed their concepts. Now, the installation of Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen moves from Milan and an evening during Art Basel/Design Miami onto London before moving to Belgrade Design Week and Designers Saturday.
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