About Sintered Materials
One of the material types that fabricators work with is sintered material. This type of material is one that has very distinctive characteristics and it is used for a variety of purposes. It comes in more than one appearance and is a popular choice for many architects and designers. Let's explore some of the specifics about sintered materials.
The Sintering Process
When considering sintered materials, it stands to reason that we would look at what the material actually is and how it is produced. The term "sintered" describes the process used to engineer the material. A variety of raw materials may be used and the sintering processes will have nuances from one brand to the next. However, the process of sintering materials is generally the same.
The sintering process consists of exposing raw materials to extreme forces to actually change the material in such a manner that it takes on new properties. As previously stated, the process for sintering is accomplished in roughly the same way using a variety of materials. so what are some of the materials used to engineer sintered stone?
Each producer of engineered stone has its own recipe for producing a given material. Depending on the brand of the product you research, you will find that the raw materials used to produce the surface will vary just like the process does. In fact, each company producing sintered materials has its unique sintering process and specific blend of materials. Some of the materials used in the production of sintered surfaces include:
Each of the raw materials is used for a particular purpose and in differing quantities. Some of the key characteristics these the materials provide are as follows:
Sintered materials fall under a couple of major categories. These two categories are ultracompact surfaces (or sintered stone) and porcelain. These two materials are created in similar ways but they are different materials in different categories. You can get more information on this website about the
difference between sintered stone and porcelain.
As mentioned earlier, the processes through which the raw materials are put determine the resulting material. Because these nuances in production are protected by the companies producing the materials, details about just how each one is engineered are not readily available. How many different types of sintered surfaces are there? Well, the number continues to grow but there are a number of brands at the time of this writing.
Brands of Sintered Materials
If you are a stone professional, you have likely seen that a number of companies produce a variety of materials used for hard surfaces. Brands of sintered materials are among the labels provided by these companies. Here are some of the brands of sintered material:
Compact Sintered Surfaces
The first group of sintered materials are non-ceramic/porcelain materials that are relatively new and are often referred to as "stone" products; although not all classify themselves as stone. They are as follows:
Ceramic Porcelain Surfaces
The next group of materials are classified in the procelain ceramic group of materials. These products vary in composition and sizes but are similar enough to be grouped in one classification of materials.
Sintered Material Properties
One big reason that design professionals select sintered materials for hard surfaces is because they are rich in desirable characteristics. Let's consider some of these properties now.
Durability. Sintered materials are very durable and resist a number of potential environmental factors that can cause damage of one kind or another. For example, staining is a worry for some owners of other materials that owners of sintered materials worry about less. Additionally, scratching can be something that homeowners and business owners think about often. However, sintered materials are very durable and hold up under tremendous wear and tear.
Easy to Maintain. Maintenance and cleaning are at the top of the list for many owners of hard surfaces. Because sintered materials are so durable and are non-porous, they are very easy to care for. In fact, sintered materials can be cleaned with an abundance of specific cleaning solutions. Depending on the kind of discoloration, you can use many of the following:
- Acidic Cleaners
- Alkaline Detergents
As you can see from that list, there is a wide variety of cleaner types that can be used to care for sintered materials.
Be sure to read and follow the instructions provided with your surface.
Heat Resistant. Sintered materials are engineered under tremendously high temperatures and pressure. As a result, they are extremely heat resistant. In fact one brand of sintered material states that no hot pads or pot holders are necessary for setting hot pans on its surfaces.
Working With Sintered Material
When it comes to working with sintered material, the proper tooling is important. This is because the material is so hard that it must be fabricated using the correct tools. The
way the material is fabricated is important too. Sintered materials can be produced under intense pressure and some even have internal tension that requires skilled fabrication professionals to work.
One of the main tool types that you will need to have to work sintered materials is a
bridge saw blade for sintered material. Having a blade that is designed to cut sintered materials cleanly and effectively is a key to good results. Here are some of the blades that we have developed to cut these types of materials:
Using a blade designed for use on sintered materials like ceramic and porcelain surfaces will get you better results since the blade will cut the surface cleaner and faster than a blade not designed and optimized for performance.
Caring for Sintered Materials
As we mentioned above, one feature that many find advantageous to choosing a sintered material is that it is easy to maintain and care for after it is installed. But as you also recall, we said that there are specific kinds of cleaners for removing various types of stains and discolorations. If you would like to know more about how to care for porcelain, ceramic and other types of sintered materials, check out our stone products website under the
sintered stone area.
In the end, sintered stone and other sintered materials are very much like other hard materials that are used for interior design and architecture. They have distinctive qualities and need specific tooling and care products if they are to yield the best benefits.