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Crack Prediction in Sanitaryware Formulations

Cracking is an age old problem in whitewares production. The Cracking Tolerance Number (CTN) is an empirically derived index invented by Imerys/FR to assess the tendency of a sanitaryware body to crack during the drying process [1, 2]. The CTN value helps guide the choice of formulation to allow a production process that has a high yield and productivity. The CTN is focused on cracks that are due to the generation of stresses and strains in the green piece as a result of volumetric drying shrinkage, particularly in the mould and applied as part of the demoulding process. These cracks are often small and easily missed during green inspection, leading to catastrophic failure during firing. While the original version of the CTN has proved extremely useful in guiding the formulation development of sanitaryware bodies, there are some aspects to the process and calculation that can be put on a more rigorous footing.

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