“A ceramic tiles ahead of their time:multifunctional coatings” was the title of this conference presented by Prof. Arnaldo Moreno at 12th International Conference and Exhibition of the European Ceramic Society – ECERS weld in Stockholm, Sweden.
Traditional uses for ceramic tiles have focused on specific applications mostly based on their hygienic and aesthetic properties. Things are changing rapidly though. Tile producers are seeking more and more new domains where ceramic products can be installed. To succeed in this task it is indispensable to provide tiles with new features which raise their value. One way to do so is to functionalize tiles’ surfaces rendering them not only clean and nice but also useful and practical. There are many functionalities a ceramic surface can be provided with, but one type has become very popular over the last years, that which comprises among other effects biocide, air-purifying and self-cleaning properties. Titania coatings play the leading role in these functions but other materials such as compounds of zinc or silver (to name only a few) have great capabilities too. The combination of some of these products can enhance the overall performance of the coated surface rendering it truly multifunctional while at the same time providing it with aesthetic qualities unexplored so far.
This presentation reviews the state-of-the-art of tile surface functionalization by deposition of single- or multi- component coatings. The specific contribution of different elements and compounds being part of these coatings is analyzed as well as their synergetic effects. Some key properties of these products are discussed too: (nano-) particle size, crystalline structure, etc. as well as their fabrication processes. Also their response intensity to UV or visible radiation is addressed, paying special attention to the last advances in this field. Finally, an outlook onto the future of these new tile multifunctional coatings is proposed.