As you can imagine, when you are making ceramic blocks, clay dust is flying around in the air, which sparks the first signs of progress. We started at the back of the plant where we saw a large pile of clay chunks that was transported from a nearby site in the town where the clay is harvested. The clay is first put into a large bin which drops it onto a conveyor that leads to a grinder in order to grind the clay chunks into clay particles. From there it heads into a mixer that adds water before it gets compressed into the clay molds to give the blocks their shape. Coming out of the molds, the clay is in a continuous block, similar to what you would see using a Play Doh Fun Factory press. It is then cut into smaller sections before being moved through a press that uses wires to cut it into individual blocks. Because I care about my readers, I even took a short 9 second video for you to see this part of the process.
Once the clay is cut into individual blocks, the blocks are rolled onto racks that are used to place the blocks in the dryer. After drying the blocks, they head toward the last step which is firing the blocks in the kiln.
|Clay blocks are grey before entering the kiln|
That's right, just like middle school ceramics projects, these ceramic blocks head to the kiln to dry them at high temperatures to give them their strength. After being heated in the slow cooking kiln, they are stacked onto trucks or storage pallets for delivery to the customers. And that is pretty much it folks. After seeing the process, I was able to walk around the factory and storage areas to further analyze the process from start to finish, including looking down from the top of the kiln at the fires, to see if anything could be considered for my work with Tecno Logys.
|After the kiln, the clay blocks have a red hue|
If you are interested in how other things are made, you can visit the "How It's Made" television show website for more items. My favorite is How to make a "Cap Gun".
After visiting the factories, we hit the open road back to Sao Paulo. For a few moments, I forgot I was in Brazil as we listened to Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" racing down the freshly paved highway in a Dodge SUV.
Another day in Sao Paulo, another success.