QnA-CN ARCHITECTURAL TERRACOTTA
QnA
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  • Can sealant be used to terracotto panel?
    Yes, it can, but not recommend.
  • What are advantages of T4 (30mm) which compared to the T2 (18mm)?
    The impact resistance of T4 is better than T2. It is easy to produce large-scale terracotta panel. So it is more suitable for high-rise buildings, business and podium area of residential buildings.
  • How to scientifically understand the performances and importances of terracotta panel?
    How to scientifically understand the performances and importances of terracotta panel?

    Curtain wall material is a kind of decorative maintenance material which fixed outside the wall by supporting structural system, divided into stone, glass, metal and terraccota panel as the four kinds of representative artificial materials.

    According to GB / T21086-2007 "Archtecture Curtain Wall;, qualified ceramic curtain wall should meet a series of performance norms: not only to meet general requirements of the Archtecture Curtain Wall materials (wind resistance, water tightness, air tightness, thermal universality, airborne sound insulation performance, plane deformation and shock resistance, impact resistance, optical and load-bearing performances, etc.), but also to meet the special requirements of ceramic curtain wall (water absorption, fracture modulus, size error, surface quality, etc.).

    In the actual use of terracotta panel, overseas customers, customers of Hong Kong and domestic big project pay more attention to the following aspects:

    1、 Safety performance

    A、 Bending strength / fracture modulus

    B、 Anchoring strength (also known as mounting system structural strength)

    C、 Shock resistance

    D、 Wind pressure deformation resistance

    F、 Impact resistance

    Caption: The performances above are not only the requirements of Archtecture Curtain Wall norm, but also the most attention performance regarding terracotta panel as curtain wall material, since the safety of the Archtecture Curtain Wall is always the first.

    2、 Aesthetic Appearance

    Dimension Error, Edge Straightness, Concavity and Convexity, Center Curvature, Color Difference etc.

    Caption: These requirements are mainly related to the decorative effect after terracotta panel installated, and reflect the appearance quality, such as color difference which is the most concerned problem by user.

    3、 Physical and Chemical Properties

    Water absorption, pollution resistance, anti-ultraviolet aging, anti-freeze-thaw etc.

    Caption: These are related to the inherent characteristics and basic requirements of terracotta panel. Although invisible, it intrinsically linked with the safety, external impressions and durability. For example, the anti-freeze-thaw requirement is relatively high if application in cold areas. So different climate zones require different water absorption in national standard, For instance, water absorption should not be greater than 6% if the region has more than one month freezing perod. Because lower water absorption, better resistance to freezing and thawing. Therefore the standard of terracotta has classification of water absorption 3% ≤ E ≤ 6% and 6% ≤ E ≤ 10%.

    In the many properties involved in the terracotta panel, The water absorption has popular public attention, due to the concept is relatively easy to understand, and it regarded as a reference of classification by GB and trade standards. Some customers asked the question of the suitable water absorption, is not the lower the better?

    As the external wall decoration materials, the water absorption rate is mainly related to anti-freeze-thaw cycle performance. The different climatic conditions have different requirements of water absorption: the more cold, the lower water absorption requirements.

    In view of China's overall climate conditions, GB/T21086-2007 "Archtecture Curtain Wall" has a clear definition of water absorption for terracotta panel:


    In other words, too low water absorption (≤ 3%) is only applicable to some special alpine region, so it is basically unnecessary in our country. And too high water absorption (≥ 10%) will lead to frost cracking of terracotta panel, so it is unqualified.

    The lower water absorption requirements mainly for . standard of the ground tiles, such as porcelain tiles (tiles, polished tiles, full body tiles, antique tiles, etc.) require water absorption below 1%, because they are used as floor tiles with higer requirements of abrasion resistance and strength. The water absorption of the porcelain tiles is low, not just because the firing temperature is higher than 1200 ° C (the firing temperature of terracotta panel is generally around 1170 ° C), but also use the fine raw materials and high tonnage press. However, there are limitations of the lower water absorption to the porcelain tile, the gorgeous brick red, brilliant yellow etc. can not be achieved in full body porcelain tile.

    The teracotta panel is the process of extrusion molding with specific grain gradation and raw material formula, it bring the sense of moderate density, nature ,gentle and moist for its rich and coarse surface texture. Terracotta panel is mainly used for building exterior curtain wall dry hanging, so it has lower requirements for abrasion resistance and compression strength. Terracotta panel can be rich in color after firing because of the wide range of water absorption, so that meet the pursuit of architectural colors by designers to the utmost. This is the porcelain brick can not be incomparable.

    In fact, the water absorption rate of terracotta panel varies with different colors, even if the firing temperature is the same. For example, water absorption is generally between 3-6% for gray, brown, brownish red, white, and brick red, but brick red and yellow is generally more than 6%. We tested and compared the water absorption to samples of domestic and international brands, the results show that there is a big difference between different colors. It proved our view above. Refer to Appendix.

    From the attached test table, the water absorption of high iron red both Terreal and CN are more than 9% because of gorgeous color, while the Frontek did not produce such products. We also specifically tested the water absorption of Frontek samples which has seven varieties of four series colors red, black, yellow, gray, there are three varieties between 3% -6%, and four varieties between 6% -10%. The interval distribution of water absorption is similar to CN products. However, due to different technology and raw materials of each manufacturer, there is great difference for water absorption of the same color. For example, the water absorption is 5.48% for Frontek brownish red, but only 4.2% for CN brownish red; the water absorption is 4.66% for Frontek dark gray (red) , but 5.1% for CN dark gray (red).

    Of course, it is not difficult to pursuit of low water absorption. As mentioned above, we can improve the firing temperature, or grinding the raw material particles more finely. However, from the detection standard of the terracotta panel, the test results is unqualified for the water absorption less than 3%. Moreover, the unique texture of gentle & moist and natural color disappeared, so there is no difference between terracotta panel and tiles. The dry hanging system promoted by the Cimic, Dongpeng and other well-known tiles, polished tiles brands for more than 20 years, but it has not been widely accepted by the market. However, it is in hot pursuit in market for only 3 to 5 years promotion of terracotta panel. It shows that the market agrees more with the texture and decorative effect of terracotta panel.

    In fact, it is completely enough to meet the regional requirement of water absorption as per freezing period. As a customer, should pay more attention to safety, and concern if colors can meet the design requirements.


  • What are the characteristics of terracotta panel compared with traditional curtain wall materials such as masonry and aluminium plate?
  • What are the advantages of CN terracotta panels compared with the competing products?
    Compared with the domestic competing products, "CN" advantages are as follows:First, Raw Materials: The other domestic manufacturers of raw materials basiclly from field mud or river mud with a lot of impurities and organics, it will lead to dark surface and improper colors after firing. Even some add a lot of pigment, result in fading easily in the future. However, CN architectural terracotta that based on the "5 colors soil" as main materal which has the natual coloring technique. It gives CN products a strong comparative advantage on its pure color and long lasting . It is also the key reason why CN products can always won the favor of developers and designers word widely. Second, Equipments:CN production lines all use imported machineries with the total investment reached 100 million HK dollars, e.g. Italian vacuum extruder, German cutting machine, German loading & unloading robot, German drying kiln system, Italian temperature control kiln, German extruder machine, Italian cutting machine etc. All these machineries and process technique represents the leading technology of terracotta panel manufacturing in the world, and ensure the production of superior quality. The annual capacity of terracotta panel is around 1.5 million ㎡, terracotta louver around 1 million meters, and the split tile about 1 million ㎡. It is the real implementation of the production scale. Third, Quality:In order to ensure the superior quality of products, CN takes the following control measures:(First) Color Control    1, Uniform Raw Materials:the daily reserve bulk of the mud about 100,000 tons (meet CN production materials for 2 years), a single variety of mud storage capacity over 5,000 tons (equivalent to the production of 150,000㎡ of terracotta panel). It laid the foundation of color control. 2, The Precise Ingredient System:all raw materials are puchased and machined by CN, never outsourcing. CN uses the most advanced automatic computer-controlled ingredients system. The computer program will automatically weigh and discharge by inputting codes of raw materials to computer,the error per ton can be controlled within 1%. Then stirring evenly by cone mixer, so as to eliminate the occurrence of uneven color phenomenon caused by uneven ingredients from the source. While some domestic manufacturers can not machine raw materials by themselves, have to outsourcing. So it is difficult to effectively control quality. 3,Strict Control of The Production Process:CN has rich experience in controlling color, since its wet forming technics for many years. With particular emphasis on small test and pilot test before production, to ensure accurate color. CN never arrange large-scale production if unqualified in pilot test, and produces the whole continuous batch as far as possible. At current, the color control is relatively ideal due to the advanced Italian roller kiln and rich production experiences.(Second) Size Control    1, Hardware Guarantee:CN production lines all use imported machineries from Germany and Italy. The stable vacuum pressure of molding machine ensure the even thickness of products. The automatic cutting machine by setting cutting length in computer ensure the mud density uniformity and dry shrinkage stability. The automatic control roller kiln uphold the Italian advanced design concept, firing temperature curve and stable pressure control, to ensure consistent contraction and smooth without deformation. While some domestic manufacturers using manual cutting, cause uneven in length and completely dependent on the late processing. 2, Unique Grinding Technology:CN takes the lead in using the latest patented products - clean dry grinding machine, to avoid the pollution of architectural terracotta. The automated job ensure length precision, four vertical angle, diagonal consistent of architectural terracotta (especially large size), after rough grinding and fine grinding by the automatic grinding line, and through unique centring and parallel setting. But other manufacturers do not have such equipment, take simple processing technology relatively, so the accuracy of the size will be slightly inferior to CN. 3, Processing Services:According to the requirements of customers, CN provide cutting, chamfering and other services on the non-standard products in CN factory by the professional equipments. It not only ensure pleasing in appearance, but also avoid damages and costs increasing caused by on-site processing. 4, Strict Inspection Control of Finished Product:CN internal control standards are stricter than the German industrial standards and Chinese national standards. In addition, QC department fully authorized by the general manager to inspect each product strictly, to ensure that the architectural terracotta can obtain the best decorative effect.
  • Does the terracotta panel have waterproof function?
    As an open curtain wall system, terracotta panel has good water retaining function, but no anti-leakage function. So it still needs to take waterproof board, waterproof mortar or other anti-seepage measures in the wall. The horizontal joints between two panels using upper and lower lap way don't need glue seal. The vertical joints generally installed seams not only enhance the waterproof function, but also prevent the side shift. The water won't touch the wall whether it is rain or spray experiment by the upper and lower lap way of panels. It may flow backward in the wind and heavy rain. But the rain curtain isobaric phenomenon formed by unique cross-stitching greatly reduces the intensity of the pouring. The rain will only follow the back of the panel to flow down, and pour outside the curtain wall from the mouth of the joints without showering directly on the wall. The reason why a layer of water treatment should be done, mainly considering the weather reasons, such as in rainy season, the wall or curtain wall cavity will appear much condensate water of strong penetration. Compared with the closed curtain wall, open curtain wall has good ventilation breathable performance, so that it can quickly air-dry condensate water, and better protect the keel and other systems from corrosion.
  • How about the compatibility and stain resistance performance between terracotta panel and sealant?
    Terracotta panel has compatibility and stain resistance performance with sealant. There are the national inspection reports.
  • Is terracotta panel convenient to replace?
    Yes, ceramic curtain wall is composed of many panels which are relatively independent, so it is very convenient to replace and maintain. Just to remove the damaged panel, and vertically push up the above panel a little, then insert a new one. The operation is simple and safe.
  • Can terracotta panel be used in interior decoration and wet paste?
    The unique style of terracotta panel enrichs diversification of curtain wall, and expands with big step to the field of fine interior decoration. Compared with the stone or other materials, terracotta panel has heavy metal content hardly, no radiation, more environmentally friendly after high temperature sintering. At the same time, it is suitable for building hall, elevator porch, conference hall, swimming pool and theatre etc. since its gentle rich texture and noise reduction function brought by hollow structure.The terracotta panel can be wet pasted, but recommend that choose the thickness 15mm and professional adhesive, and the thickness 18mm of panel should hang copper wire to back groove. It is appropriate to control the height of wet paste within 20 meters.
  • Can terracotta panel be used as ceiling material?
    Yes, it can, but in the case that the ceiling elevation is not high. In order to enhance the safety, it must strengthen some accessories of stabilizing effect in the construction. For example, as to terracotta panel of 18mm thickness, the normal elevation fix by self-tapping screws between the horizontal keel and the vertical keel. While self-tapping screw has the downwards pulling force in the ceiling, so need to replace self-tapping screw to bolt linking to main keel by angular. It can use copper wire through the cavity linking to horizontal keel for additional security. As to terracotta panel of 30mm thickness, it is just consistent with normal elevation hanging method, or use copper wire fixing directly terracotta panel and the horizontal keel fixed for additional security.
  • Can terracotta panel be holed?
    Yes, it can be holed by professional equipment. But the diameter should not be too large.
  • What are installation characteristics of breakpoint horizontal keel and continuous horizontal keel?
    Differed from masonry curtain wall, the terracotta panel has lighter weight than masonry and smaller force in the keel relatively. So the back keel can be divided into breakpoint horizontal keel and continuous horizontal keel with 1.5mm or 3.0mm thickness for different cost budgets. The characteristics of CN breakpoint installation and continuous installation: breakpoint installation can save materials, but it has high requirement of keel installation precision and slightly time-consuming; continuous installation uses a large amount of horizontal keels, but the installation is more efficient than the breakpoint, and it can save vertical keel material by increasing its spacing properly (not more than 1.2 meters, the specific spacing as per design calculation). The continuous installation generally uses 1.5mm thickness, and breakpoint installation uses 3.0mm thickness. After calculation, the cost line of continuous installation and breakpoint installation is 300 * 900mm, that is to say, it’s better to use breakpoint installation when the length is more than 900mm.
  • Can terracotta panel be cutting and grinding on-site?
    Yes, it can be cutting, grinding and chamfering by ordinary stone cutting and grinding tools on-site.
  • How to save energy?
    The terracotta panel can effectively block heat conduction with its hollow structure. At the same time, with the overlap installation feature of CN terracotta panel, air can freely flow between the panel and wall to make the curtain wall "breathable". It can reduce the energy consumption of the building compared with traditional closed way.
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