a b s t r a c t
Current trends in the ceramic industry see an increasing interest on porcelain stoneware, by which is possible to produce large tiles and slabs. These products are manufactured by spray-dried powders, which have excellent technological properties but require high energy and water consumption. Dry-processed granulates allow to reduce such a consumption, but suffer from a different technological behavior. A solution to improve the environmental sustainability of ceramic tile-making is mixing powders prepared by the wet and the dry routes. The technological features of industrially manufactured mixed powders was investigated (rheological properties, compaction response and firing behavior) in order to point out advantages and possible pitfalls. Dry-processed and spray-dried granulates exhibit different distributions of size, shape and moisture that reflect on distinct rheological and compaction behaviors. Mixed powders show a more or less accentuated deviation from linearity between the end terms. This fact makes possible to add up to ∼۵۰% dry granulates by keeping the technological properties close to current industrial bodies. Sparings of water, energy and CO2 emission for the milling and granulation stages are estimated for a mix 50% spray-dried and 50% dry-processed powders.