The process of making ceramic bowls, mugs and plates are kind of the same. Restaurant dinnerware brings a lot to the table. We know it for rugged good looks. It holds up to heavy use and repeated cleaning in commercial dishwashers. And its design reflects the restaurant’s theme and adds presentation value to the food.
History of dinnerware sets development
Dinnerware sets are the most amazing creation created by human beings. All most all the primitive societies had their own types of dinnerware in their culture. In addition to their use as eating utensils and food containers, people leveraged the early dinnerware pieces for carrying water and cooking. Therefore, they used dinner sets for both cooking and presenting the foods
People think Chinese as the inventor of modern dinnerware sets and the porcelain (ceramic) mixing clay and stone. Continued development and experimentation led to the discovery of fireable clear and colored glazes, stoneware, and melamine. These modern dinnerware pieces migrated to Europe via established trade routes to the West, where they became highly-prized items. Europe is know the best producer for dinnerware sets including dinner plates, mugs, glasses, bowls etc.
Deep dive into the process on “How are the dinnerware sets made industrially”
Most people appreciate the effort that goes into a fine meal, but they may not give much thought to what it takes to make the actual plate the food is served upon. Making ceramic dinnerware that’s restaurant quality is an intensive process. One that starts with a master die made of gypsum. This worker then makes a production version of the master to do this. He pours gypsum into a wire mesh frame above the master. There’s tubing attached to the mesh frame and he pumps air through it this causes the water in the gypsum to bubble out and evaporate.
It dries and solidifies into a mirror image of the master, in this case, a platter shape. The tubing inside this production die will be used again later to gently blow off the platter when formed releasing it from the die. Another worker adds ceramic ingredients to the water. They include a plasticizer silica sand, different clays and minerals like alumina. Once the clay mix has been thoroughly blended, they drain it onto a vibrating sieve to screen out large mineral chunks and impurities. The clay-based liquid flows through the screen into a holding tank. They pump it through this filter press. It compresses fabric-covered plastic plates to squeeze out moisture turning the clay liquid into putty-like slabs. With this consistency, worker can now shape it into their desired styles.
Shaping the dinnerware sets
A worker breaks up the slabs and feeds the pieces to a pug mill the mill shapes the clay into a long cylinder and in the process, it sucks out the air so dinnerware made from it will be less prone to cracking. He slices the clay cylinder into small wives using a wire cutter. Each of these clay wads will be shaped into one plate. They place each wide on two molds on a revolving platform.
The mold spins up to a metal tool that presses the clay into the shape of the plate mold below. The tool also forms the back so the plate will sit evenly on a table. A nozzle lubricates the metal tool between pressings. A cutter at the side trims the rims of the plates as they formed. Unlike the platter die these molds don’t have tubing inside to blow off the plates instead the heat from the dryer separates them from the molds.
Once out of the molds the plates spin on pedestals past a sponge to smooth the edges. To make coffee mugs the pug mill presses out a narrower cylinder and a knife at the exit point slices it into precise wads. The wads fall into coffee mug molds and a tool spins the clay up against the walls of the molds to shape it into mugs. A blade at the top trims the excess from the lip of the mug.
They pass under a long sponge to smooth the rims and now for the handles, they make them in two-part molds and dry them under infrared light. The handles must have precisely the same moisture content as the mugs around 16%. A worker dips the ends of each handle in a clay and glue mixture and presses it to the mug. The mugs go into a dryer and the moisture content drops to 4%. Next, they douse the mugs with glaze inside and out and bake them in a super hot kiln. This will make the mugs chip resistant and will strengthen the bond between the handle and the mug.
Painting the dinnerware sets
They paint the dinnerware by hand using a ceramic stain and this stain will enable it to hold up to repeated rigorous cleanings in restaurant dishwashers. For a different look, they apply decals to some dinnerware this artwork has been produced using the same hard-wearing ceramic stain. The plates then head into the oven and the heat fuses the decorative touches to them. From a liquid clay mix to the table where you can dine out on the process which takes about 24 hours it should serve you well.
Dinnerware sets materials – Porcelain Vs Stoneware Vs Earthenware Vs Stonelite
What is Porcelain?
People know Porcelain as the fine china and bone china, based on it’s quality. Fine clay and sand is the basic materials for making Porcelain. We know fine china as the elegant and elite porcelain. The bone china has become a higher standard in the industry. The purest and finest quality sand and clay is the component for producing done china. For extra strength, they add animal bone. That is why the price for bone china porcelain is higher than fine china and traditional ceramic.
Usually, factories make porcelain with very high-quality clay and sand. By firing it in temperatures (2,350° – 2,400° F), it becomes much more compact and stronger. That is why it accepts the outer coating. As it does not absorb much of the glaze liquid, factories can maintain it’s milky color. The result is a white shiny surface with the thinner cross-sections, creating a more beautiful and elegant white appearance.
What is Stoneware?
With porcelain, the mixture of clay and sand tends to generally be more course. Therefore, people add some stone. It has a lower firing temperature (2,250° – 2,350° F), so it tends to be thicker and bulkier than porcelain. The basic clay body sucks some of the liquid glaze, resulting in a beige finished color. However, more modern techniques have counterbalance this absorption, allowing for white stoneware to be available.
People can also produce colored glaze, but it needs a difficult chemistry for corrected final color surface, instead of a white color. So price of Colored glaze stoneware is bit more.
Stoneware, for the most part, is very durable, and during the firing, large air intake is allowed so most of the carbon content is burned off. Also, the glazing of stoneware is stronger than the most other porcelains.
What is Earthenware?
In simple word, Pottery is the earthenware. That is why it is brownish color, as it holds its original clay color look. Factories make “Earthenware” with a larger percentage of clay material. They exert a higher temperature (1,800° F) in the second oven to better solidify the initial soft clay.
How durable the earthenware is?
Earthenware dinnerware sets are not durable and resistant to chipping as a high-fired body ceramic. On the other hand, earthenware is much lighter in weight due to less density and can be decorated with brighter-colored glazes because of the lower firing temperature. It is very well suited for the colorful, hand painted designs. We suggest not purchase the earthenware dinnerware sets if you consider the durability.
What is Stonelite
Stonelite is the combination of both earthenware and stoneware. So, the color of stonelite is as bright as earthenware, and as strong as stoneware.
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