The actions to be performed regard the last manufacturing stage of the ceramic product, and mainly concern:
- The search for hard, high-performance materials, resistant to wear, to make the scoring tools;
- The sizing and design of the cutter clamp system and bending force application system (3-point bending using three knives); manufacture of prototype;
- The study and design of an ultrasonic knife, to apply high-frequency bending stress; manufacture of prototype;
- Study and design of a system for gripping the slabs and for controlling their relevant movement with respect to the cutter in Cartesian coordinates (movement of the cutter or movement of the piece); Study and design of turning device, for turning the piece to be cut between 30° and 90°; manufacture of prototype;
- Straight cutting tests on ceramic or glass materials featuring different elastic modules and calibration of ultrasonic system to optimise the appearance of the obtainable fracture surfaces;
- Evaluation of tool wear, energy consumption and product rejects; comparison with state of the art;
- Manufacture and commissioning of pilot systems in industrial dimensions and relevant operating tests;
- Preparation of a dissemination plan, based on a careful evaluation of environmental benefits capable of orient the diffusion of results obtained by Life, at whole sector level.
The aspects of the project mainly concern environment and energy issues relating to the cutting of ceramic, stone and glass materials, with focus on the elimination of the production of solid effluents (rejects, scraps) and liquid effluents (cutting and grinding sludges, cooling water), and the minimisation of energy consumption specific to cutting operations. The novel aspects of the project also address specific issues relating to the science of materials and fragile fracture mechanics, a knowledge of which could lead to the optimisation of the new system.