- story by MaterialDistrict
Ceramic textile is an innovative industrialized system based on an interwoven steel wire mesh, which is enclosed in a mosaic of ceramic clay tiles stacked in horizontal and vertical bands. The main advantage of ceramic textile is that it provides us with an ancient material in a new format that improves upon traditional manual installation, which is piece-by piece.
Produced by Flexbrick, ceramic textile can be used to “dress” façades, roofs, squares, and explore new relations with textile architecture. Applications in which this new ceramic textile has been used include drainable pavements, roof gardens, ceilings and suspended light-permeable façades. The applications demonstrate the architectural opportunities of ceramic materials when they are conceived in industrialized systems. Being highly flexible and easy to move, the textile can be folded onto pallets for storage and transportation, where it takes up little space. The long strips make its installation easy, quick and economical.
Installing a ceramic tile façade is similar to hanging a curtain: it merely requires stainless steel rails to be attached to the ceramic fabric in order to sustain it. The rails are bolted onto support brackets, which have previously been anchored to the facing slabs. In addition to the upper retaining anchors, several retaining anchors are installed to counteract the effect of the wind and to ensure the fabric is easily fixed in place.
In the case of lattices or light-permeable façades, the fabric is very light: 40 kg/m2 or less, depending on the number of gaps between the bricks. The meshes, the support rail and the retaining anchors are made of stainless steel in order to give the cladding system a long useful life and to avoid galvanic corrosion. Large-scale formats of up to 20 meters are possible, which saves a considerable amount of time and effort.
The system is very safe, as the installation of each retaining anchor involves weaving two adjacent sheets together, acting as a safety device in case of seismic activity. The tiles also feature an anti-fall device.
Flexbrick has obtained ATEX certification in France and DAU in Spain, and successfully passed several tests, including a wind tunnel.