Eco bull-nose - Abrasive-abraded sludge transformation into

 Eco bull-nose - Abrasive-abraded sludge
transformation into "abrading paste", to be
re-inserted in the bull-nose manufacturing
cycle, by means of an innovative, self-feeding
and environmental-friendly "polymeric
passive wheel" system
LIFE05 ENV/IT/000907
Project description Environmental issues Beneficiaries Administrative data R e a d m o r e Contact details:
Project Manager: Francesco GUALDI
Tel: +39 0536 946496
Fax: +39 0536 932743
Email: [email protected]
Project description:
Bullnose trim is used in the construction industry to provide a smooth, rounded
edge for countertops (e.g. granite kitchen tops), ceramic floor tiling or other tile
edges/ curves. Unfortunately however, the polishing process used in bullnosing
produces large amount of sludge. The sludge is a mixture of abrasive particles
(diamond, silicone carbonate) produced from the grinding wheels particles and
the water used to minimise dust and cool the tools. The sludge cannot be
recycled, as it is difficult to separate the particles. Objectives
The aim of the project was to demonstrate a significant reduction in the
production of sludge produced from the polishing of bullnose ceramic
tiles/strips. An innovative system would be developed for the polishing, whereby
removed particles and abrasive particles would be re-used in the production of
the bullnose tiles. This would involve replacing the grinding wheels with polymer
discs capable of exerting strong contact pressure on the ceramic piece to be
worked upon and of reducing the dust produced during the initial stages of the
production cycle. At the same time, the consumption of water would be
significantly reduced. Results
The Eco bull-nose project implemented a production line able to make the
bull-nose on ceramic tiles working with innovative polymeric grinding wheels
and sludge recovered from the other company's traditional cutting and grinding
lines as abrasive matter. The project achieved its goals in fully recovering the
wastewater and reducing the amount of waste produced. Economic benefits such
as savings in waste disposal, water and diamond wheel costs were also obtained
and demonstrated. The following results were demonstrated: 100% reduction in use of "fresh" water, i.e., savings of some 500 000
litr es/year.
100% elimination of sludge disposed in landfill, i.e., savings of 12 000
litres/month. The remaining sludge (approximately 10 000 litres/year) can
be sent for re-use in the production of recycled bricks. A reduction of consumption of the grinding tools (usage is cut by 67%). This
increases the lifetime of the tools by around 50%.
A reduction of used grinding wheels, i.e., savings of approximately 1 300
The new process is highly innovative and involves the cutting of ceramic or
stone slabs with diamond tools, to obtain rectangular strips of different
sizes. Sludge products are produced from this initial production phase.
They are mainly composed of powders from the cut materials and have a
strong abrasive power, due not only to the presence of synthetic diamond
particles but also to the extreme hardness of the materials that have been
The sludge from cutting, which still contains a high percentage of water, is
collected in a continuous sludge collection and decantation system, and from
there it is channelled into the next production process phase that creates the
bull-nose profile. The key to the innovation lies in this section of the production
line, in other words in converting what is currently a waste (the sludge produced
during the cutting and grinding process for bull-nose making on ceramic tiles) in
essential elements for the process itself. A system for separating in continuous the processing sludge has been
implemented, with the aim of separating the clear water from the abrasive
sludge. The new process uses the sludge as abrasive matter, together with
innovative grinding wheels made by polyoxymethylene, for making the
bull-nose, while the clear water is used for cooling the cutting disks.
The technology can be replicated in other sectors for example, in the ceramic
finishing process, or in the polishing of natural stones. However, there are
currently some limiting factors. These include: The initial investment could be prohibitive for a small company
A lack of availability of a high quantity of sludge containing abrasive particles
needed by the new process;
Non-availability in the market of the new polymer wheels.
Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report
(see "Read more" section). Top
Environmental issues addressed:
Waste - Industrial waste
Industry-Production - Non-metallic minerals
Waste - Waste reduction - Raw material saving
water saving‚ waste reduction‚ ceramics industry‚ alternative technology Target EU Legislation
Waste Directive 75/442/EEC -"Waste framework directive" (15.07.1975)
Directive 91/689 - Hazardous waste (12.12.1991)
Industry and Product Policy
Directive 96/61 - Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC)
Natura 2000 sites
Not applicable
Type of organisation
Tecnoceramica S.r.l.
SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Tecnoceramica is a small, young company
working in the finishing sector of the ceramics
industry. The company produces finishing
services on commission, to leading ceramics'
producers worldwide notably for special tile
cuts and bullnose (rounding off the external
edge of the tiles). None Administrative data:
Project reference
Total budget
EU contribution
Project location
LIFE05 ENV/IT/000907
01-OCT-2005 to 30-SEP -2008
756,500.00 €
217,125.00 €
Read more:
Project web site
Publication: After-LIFE
Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report
Project's website (IT)
Title: After-LIFE Communication Plan (EN)
Year: 2008 No of pages: 1 Title: Layman report (EN/IT) Year: 2008 No of
pages: 4 Top
Project description Environmental issues Beneficiaries Administrative data R e a d m o r e