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Presentation of the ceramic sector

The major ceramic industry in the region is glassindustry, including the lamination, bending and tempering of automotive and industrial glasses as well as the related production of equipment for glass processing.

Important sub-sector consists also in the development and processing of new inorganic pigments for the paper industry and the production of refractories for varying industrial applications.

Ceramic craft products such as tableware and art products are produced in many SME companies.

Ceramic coatings are produced by three companies for industrial applications covering the needs of chemical, mechanical, process, pulp & paper, energy and electronics industry.

Due to the strong influence of two university and a technology center, a large number of spin-off companies are founded continuously, among others the areas of glassy carbon production, the provision of an expert service for slurry based ceramic processing and surface treatments.

Also remarkable hi-tech industrial companies have been recently established in the semiconductor business based and inspired by the academic research in the region.

Key figures

Table 1 : Ceramic Industry in the Tampere region (estimated figures 1998)

Sub-sector

Number of
Societies

Turnover (k€)

Number of
employees
(total)

Number of
employees
(average)

Refractories

4

10.000

120

30

Tableware and Pottery

15

?

40

3

Tiles

1

1.000

10

10

Ceramic coatings

3

27.000

265

132

Ceramic slurries and Surface treatments

3

?

10

3

Glass and Equipment for glass processing

4

740.000

1.500

375

Non-metallic minerals and Cements

?

150.000

1.540

?

 

Research

Tampere University of Technology provides higher level education in technical sciences and architecture, engages in research and product development and furthers technical and scientific development not only in the Tampere Region but in the whole country. The student population of 8 000 includes both undergraduate and post graduate students and studies are run in nine departments; Architecture, Automation, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management, Information Technology, Materials Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

The Institute of Materials Science forms the core of the Department of Materials Engineering. All materials (metals, polymers, ceramics) are within the scope of both education and research. The institute has close relations with industry as well as with other academic institutions and research institutes both in Finland and abroad.

The Laboratories of both Ceramic Materials and Surface Engineering with an academic staff of 20, is the only one of its kind in Finland and, in both teaching and research, it covers all aspects of engineering ceramics from processing to property-structure relationships. The most recent focus of interest has been on porous ceramics, membranes and filters as well as on surface engineering and the most studied engineering properties are mechanical behaviour, wear and corrosion resistance.

Tampere University of Technology hosts the national brick laboratory and the secretariat of the Finnish Ceramic Society.

Hot gas cleaning filters for gasification and pressurised fluidised bed combustion as well as ceramic dewatering elements based on capillary water removal have been developed with industry. The environmental applications of the ceramic filters in cleaning industrial waste waters have been studied in association with the local environmental agency.

More infomation on the economic sector of Tampere