Every end product manufactured at Sembach is based on first-class, carefully selected and controlled raw materials. Even the best manufacturing process cannot make up for errors made in the choice of raw materials.
Each branch of trade and industry is based on particular materials. In our case, this is soapstone. Duden, the leading German dictionary, defines it as "a dense variation of talc", i. e. a monoclinic, rock-forming mineral.
In the ceramic industry, soapstone is mixed and milled with other materials such as clays and then subjected to different shaping processes. The final firing process ensures the familiar hardness of ceramic components.
Soapstone mining is time-consuming, cost-intensive and requires long-distance transport covering thousands of sea miles. However, we have been meeting these challenges for decades because first-class raw material quality is essential and difficult to find.
Our annual requirement for soapstone amounts to some 750 tons.
Unlike silicate ceramics, some of the powders needed to manufacture oxide-ceramic products are obtained from raw materials in extensive chemical and physical processes. The term "synthetic raw material" is often used in this connection. Very high degrees of purity can be achieved.
The lack of plasticity of the powders used means that chemical auxiliary materials such as softeners or binders are required to obtain best possible processability.