Ceramic tiles are widely used as building materials. It has been estimated that the contribution of all types of ceramic materials included in a building constitute about the 50% of the whole used materials. Recently, in the Sassuolo Ceramic District has increased the attention toward the environmental issues with the aim of protecting natural resources and of reducing energy and material consumptions. This issue results in the production of an innovative ceramic stoneware slab with only 3.5 mm of thickness reinforced with a fiberglass blanket. The aim of the present study is to compare the environmental impact of a traditional ceramic stoneware tile with a thin reinforced ceramic stoneware tile. The functional units chosen for this study is 1 m2 for both the traditional porcelainized stoneware tile and the innovative ones. The LCA study has been performed using the SimaPro 7.3.3 software and IMPACT 2002+ impact assessement method. The system boundaries for the analysis include the upstream and downstream phases, from raw material extraction to the end of life of the product, thus obtaining “a cradle to grave” overview. The analysis of the results shows that the traditional porcelainized stoneware tile determinates a major impact (11.88 mPt) than the innovative ceramic stoneware tile (7.469 mPt), in particular the total damage decreases of 37.13%. The damage assessment indicates: • a decrease of 50.16% in Human Health category thanks to the reduction of NOx emissions (-36.37%) generated by transports of raw materials, • a reduction of 28.85% in Resources category thanks to the saving of natural gas consumption (-10%) in the firing phase, • a decrease of 22.42% in Climate Change category caused by the CO2 emissions reduction (-23.33%) in the firing process, • a reduction of 52.52% in Ecosystem Quality category thanks to the Zinc emissions reduction (-54.9%) generated by the transports. In conclusion the innovative ceramic stoneware tile allows to save energy consumptions, to reduce the raw materials and to decrease the transports compared to the traditional system.
Comparative life cycle assessment of traditional and innovative ceramic stoneware tiles / Pini, Martina; Gamberini, Rita; Rimini, Bianca; Neri, Paolo; Ferrari, Anna Maria. - (2013). ((Intervento presentato al convegno SETAC EUROPE 19th LCA CASE STUDY SYMPOSIUM tenutosi a Rome (Italy) nel 11-13 November 2013.