The process optimisation methods used at Fraunhofer-Center HTL are suitable for all types of silicate ceramics: porcelain, earthenware or stoneware and also silicate refractory materials. Small components can be optimised just as well as several-metre-long high-voltage insulators made of porcelain or pipes made of stoneware.
Specially developed ThermoOptic Measuring systems (TOM) are available at the HTL to collect the necessary in-situ measurement data. These can be operated in air, but also with the atmosphere of gas-heated furnaces. All material properties required for optimising the heat treatment of silicate ceramics can be measured in situ. The in-situ measurements are carried out on samples with a volume of up to 30 cm³.
The upscaling to the component scale is carried out with finite element (FE) methods. Corresponding FE models are available for all essential heat treatment steps on silicate ceramics. By means of FE simulation, the process parameters are optimised and verified experimentally. In the final step, the optimised process parameters are then transferred to the production furnace.