Nano technology is being used in the tile industry to produce tiles with increased sheen and colour and a greater resistance to stains. Tile Africa imports Nano tiles, making them available locally through its retail outlets and its contracts division, Tile Africa Contracts. Tile Africa’s Nano tile range includes: Simplicity, a 600 by 600mm double-loaded porcelain tile; Jenna, Layla and Gabrielle, all 600 by 600mm soluble salt tiles; Nano White and Nano Black, 600 by 600mm polished porcelain tiles; and Crystal Snow, an 800 by 800mm porcelain tile.
Craig Irvine, national contracts manager for Tile Africa Contracts, says, “Nano technology in tiles involves a process that treats the tile’s surface to increase the sheen, enhance the colour and improve protection against staining and marking.”
This effect is achieved by applying the very light and hard organic nano particles, similar to a type of wax, onto the surface of polished porcelain tiles. The plating technique used ensures that the nano particles polymerise evenly on the surface of the tiles. With repetitive plating, applied through high pressure sanding and polishing, the nano particles combine with the tile substance to form an organic nano film with a high density and stability, which achieves the distinguishing characteristics of nano-treated tiles.
The high surface sheen of Nano tiles also creates a protective layer that covers any air holes or tiny rifts in the surface of the tiles, so dirt cannot penetrate the tiles and they are easier to keep clean. The granular material of the protective layer enhances the tiles’ durability and slip resistance – making them suitable for domestic and commercial applications – and, fired at 1 250ºC, Nano tiles have a hardness equivalent to that of granite.
Tile Africa Contracts supplies and fits a wide range of tiles, including Nano, ceramic, natural stone and porcelain tiles, as well as mosaics, borders and listellos.