Upgrading grain size analysis by Microtrac S3500

The laser granulometer Microtrac S3500 has been applied in the Keramik-Institut since July 2019. It enables measurements concerning a grain size range from 0,02 µm to 2000 µm. Thus, our previous measurement range is significantly expanded. Now, the gap-free determination of the particle size distribution from clay to coarse sand is possible. The measuring system works with 3 precisely arranged lasers. The measurements can be carried out in various dispersing agents, e.g. purified water or ethanol.The results can be output individually customizable, among other things as tabular listed passing values, peaks and various graphics such as cumulative curves and grain class frequencies.

For requests please contact Klaus Hantzsch.

(July 2019)

Another spray dryer

The ceramics-institute has extended his annual spray drying capacity to 500 t (one shift):  A 2nd spray dryer has been ejected.

The new dryer can evaporate approx. 120 kg/h (present dryer: approx: 60 kg/h). The working principle is based on the counter flow principle., likewise to the present dryer. The slip is been sprayed from button against the drying air from the top.

For requests please contact Tom Scholz

(September 2018)

Piston extruder KP200A made by ECT

Since Mai 2017 the piston extruder KP200A made by ECT Kema is in operation at the Keramikinstitut. The piston extruder complements the equipment of the Keramikinstitut in the field of extruders: Beside the installed screw extruders  there is now a piston extruder for the test production of specimens.

The diameter of the evacuated feedstock cylinder is 200 mm and the exit field of the pressure head in front of  the die is approx. 155 mm. One can extrude in horizontal direction as well as in vertical direction. The KP200A can handle up to 280 bar. The die geometries are very flexible and can be ordered for example at our partner ZMB Braun.

The following table shows the differences between a piston and a screw extruder and possible fields of use:

Piston extruder KP200A



  • Very high pressure possible
  • Relatively low amount of material needed
  • Close to production sized specimen
  • Suitable for honeycombs
  • Easy to clean
  • For low amount of units
  • Discontinuous processing
  • Rather challenging evacuation

e.g. screw extruder PZVQRG-8A



  • High pressure possible
  • Close to production sized specimen (small)
  • Suitable for honeycombs
  • Continuous processing possible
  • Typical for mass production
  • Evacuation easy to handle
  • High amount of material needed
  • Difficult to clean


Therefore piston extruders are suitable for the test production of specimens, e.g. R&D tasks  or for difficult extrusion tasks e.g. honeycombs with high cpsi-Numbers. Additionally, piston extruder produced specimens have less problems with textures because piston extruders work with a different compression mechanism (screw vs. piston). The evacuation of the bulk needs unfortunately a lot of time and effort.

We look forward to your inquiries concerning extrusion and we will advice you which extrusion machine is best to solve your problem.

(August 2017)

Update Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA/ TG)

The new STA 449 F5 Jupiter from NETZSCH is applied in the Keramik-Institut since May 2016. It enables the simultaneous detection of phase transitions and changes in mass (DTA/ TG). Measurements are possible from RT to 1.600°C with heating rates between 0,001 and 50 K/ min and a digital resolution up to 0,1 µg. The instrument is featured with a highly sensitive microbalance which makes measurements with low drift behavior at high sample weights possible. Protective and purge gases can be dosed by three built-in mass flow regulators.