LAUFEN’s innovative material with high-tech properties
LAUFEN Austria AG’s Gmundner Sanitärkeramik plant is known for its innovative developments, both in terms of materials and production processes. For example, the plant is considered the birthplace of die-casting technology and thus a pioneer for the “real” industrialization of ceramics production.
Harder than steel
The latest material innovation from LAUFEN Austria in Gmunden is the so-called sapphire ceramic, an extremely pressure-resistant material that allows for a slim design and completely new, filigree shapes. It is named after the added mineral corundum, which occurs naturally as a component of sapphire. This is also used in the watch industry for sapphire glasses and is surpassed in hardness only by diamond.
Much thinner than “classic” ceramics
Whereas wall thicknesses of 8 to 10 mm were previously necessary, the new high-performance ceramic allows thicknesses of only 3 to 4 mm thanks to its enormous density. This is an opportunity that designers of modern bathrooms are keen to seize in order to implement new ideas: Edges with tight radii, elegant bowls, wafer-thin shelves, filigree accessories and much more.
Each innovation continually tests the limits of ceramics – one of the oldest materials known to mankind. As LAUFEN’s declared “innovation site”, the plant in Gmunden is dedicated to the production of complex molds for high-quality bathrooms. Even today, a great deal of manual labor is still required in production, in addition to highly modern manufacturing techniques. Because the living material of ceramics is difficult to control even in the 21st century.