ERGON (Italy)

ERGON (Italy): Technical ceramic tiles (full body/unglazed porcelain, ventilated external walls, elevated floor tiles)

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Ergon was developed in 1991 on the basis of Emil Ceramica experience and became an autonomous trademark in 2004. Today it is set in the centre of a well-balanced synthesis between technology and respect for the environment, perfecting and enlarging on the concept of porcelain stoneware with the utmost care towards reducing environmental impact. From a specialized, dynamic set-up, skillfully linking excellent aesthetic quality to avant-garde technology, the Ergon collections were created; an outstanding trademark for modern architecture. Ergon’s quality level is assured by the Emil Ceramica Quality System, certified under ISO 9001. The industrial group was one of the first to be certified for all its production centers and all the technological processes. This certification confirms the quality level not only of the product itself, but of all industrial and commercial activities, from design to the production system and sales.

High Performance

Ergon porcelain stoneware reflects a project combining design culture with highly skilled industrial processes and advanced technologies. A touch of refined elegance is added to the excellent technical performances, passing all the tests set by the European and United States standards. Independent laboratories in the United States, France, the Far East and Australia confirm the high quality of Ergon.

 

Stain Resistant

Ergon is the outcome of an overall research project which has involved the whole company, from the raw material research function through to the departments which design the production plants. As well as its excellent aesthetic qualities inspired by natural products, Ergon has special properties in terms of mechanical and chemical strength and cleanliness that remains constant over time. These features make Ergon the first new generation of fine porcelain stoneware.

 

Resistant to Chemical Etching

Ergon tiles are obtained by processing high quality raw materials. This is further confirmed by the ISO 10545-13 test which shows resistance to acids and bases. Samples of fine porcelain stoneware were immersed in aggressive chemical solutions for 12 days without any alteration. Ergon tiles have also been tested under the more severe ASTM American standards, which confirm Ergon’s chemical resistance.

 

Non Absorbent

In order to classify a porcelain as “fully vitrified” or impervious, the ISO 13006 and ASTM C-373 norms require an absorption of less than 0.5%. Ergon’s water absorption value is actually nil (0.04%). A non-absorbent material is unaffected by frost, is compact, and withstands mechanical stresses.

 

High Breaking Strength

Fine porcelain stoneware is commonly used on the floors of industrial premises, or where traffic is intense. In these conditions, where the static and dynamic loads are heavy, the material’s bending strength is extremely important. The ISO 10545-4 standard requires a minimum bending strength of 1300 N, calculated as the force needed to break a tile. Ergon achieves much higher values, of over 2400 N.

Wear Resistant

The deep abrasion test indicates the material’s hardness. The reference value shows the quantity of material being removed from a sample subjected to the combined action of a rotating disc and abrasive powder.

The ISO 10545-6 norm set a maximum limit of 175 mm3 of material removed. Ergon fully complies with this norm, as its own limit features an average value of 115 mm3.

 

Scratch and Shock Resistant

The hardness of the surface is expressed also as resistance to scratching. The tile is scratched with the sharp edges of the sample minerals, arranged in increasing hardness from 1 to 10 on the Mohs scale, where 10 is

diamond. Fine porcelain stoneware has higher shock resistance than any other ceramic product. Ergon passes the shock-resistance test with steel balls.

 

Antiskid Surface

Fine porcelain stoneware are widely used in public areas with high pedestrian traffic, subject to safety regulations. In many of its versions, Ergon meets the skid resistance values required by the strictest international standards (B.C.R.A. test, DIN 51130, ASTM C1028/89).

 

Environmentally Friendly

For Ergon, the environment has always been a priority and for this reason techniques and technologies to reduce environmental impact have been developed in the production cycle. A policy which can be summarised in three fundamental points makes the whole work of prevention and reduction efficient and recognised at an international level.

 

- Maximum energy saving

- Minimum environmental emissions

- Recycling of resources

 

The company has a co-generation plant which autonomously produces, through a turbine, a large part of the electric power necessary for production in the factories. Excess energy is put into the community network under 

an agreement with the electricity company. Hot air (at about 500°C), obtained as a by-product, is all conveyed to atomizing machines. The co-generation plant outputs are much higher than the average outputs of a normal

thermal power plant: Ergon has designed and built some of the most important plants: dryers and roller kilns guaranteeing less energy consumption with respect to the standards. Ergon was the first in the sector to introduce a hot air recovery system in the kilns feeding the burners in the kiln itself as well as the other machines (dryers).

 

Ergon does not emit any type of solid wastes into the environment. All potentially dangerous liquid and raw solid wastes are recycled in the production cycle. Completely inert fired wastes are recycled by supplying them to other companies which use them in their production processes. All machines have sophisticated filtering systems and the chimneys emit only water vapor. Only a minimum quantity of dust is emitted into the environment, five times less than the quantity allowed by law. Ergon products do not discharge VOC substances (volatile organic products) and are certified as conforming to the CHPS criteria for low emission products by Berkeley Analytical Associates, a recognized independent laboratory. Waste water coming from the washing of departments and machines is re-used to grind some types of mixes. This completely eliminates the inflow of waste water into the cycle, full of mineral salts and chemical compounds which would otherwise have to be treated by specialized companies.

 

The energy recovery strategies (the co-generation plant and the collection of air from the kilns) allow electric power consumption to be reduced by a third. The use of mixes with recycled contents of up to 40% means an equivalent reduction in the consumption of virgin raw materials. The certificate granted by the international third part body Bureau Veritas is available for some series. These products contribute to satisfying MR Credit 4.1 and 4.2 recycled content ( 1-2 points) LEED ® Green Building Rating System TM. Water used in the production process is purified and re-used several times, then finally re-cycled within the company. This means that water consumption is reduced by 40%. Even materials used for packing have a high percentage of recycled contents:

 

- Cardboard boxes: 90% of post-consumer material

- Heat-shrinking packages in plastic material: 80% of post-consumer material

When the Ergon products have finished their useful life and been dismantled, since they are completely inert materials, they can be 100% recycled for the following: Road Foundations & Production cycles in ceramic manufacturing companies.

 

Care and respect for the environment is also reflected in the behavior of the people who work in the Ergon company. In fact, in manufacturing facilities and offices, separate collections have been set up for: paper (95 tons); plastic (130 tons); wood (130 tons); copper; aluminum; drain oil; oil filters; fabric filters and batteries.

 

Ergon products are the result of intense research activity linking respect for the environment to excellent aesthetic results with high performance and technical characteristics. The high content of recycled material is certified by the international body Bureau VERITAS and by the Emil Ceramica Environment Quality Control department. As proof of Ergon’s sensitivity and eco-sustainability commitment, Ergon has become a member of the U.S. Green Building Council body and has developed LEED ®, a classification system of “green” buildings now applied in 40 countries throughout the world.