From sludge to tile

Research, ongoing

In this project, designer Lotte de Raadt and myself developed new ideas for the use of iron sludge in ceramics and tiles. Iron sludge is a residual waste product from water production in the Netherlands.

Having a deep red colour, we quickly realized the sludge could potentially be a great source for making ceramic pigments. We tested several applications and found that the material can indeed be used to produce a beautiful pink/red colouring on ceramics. We ended up developing a line of wall tiles in different shades that can be used in sustainable architecture.

The first tiles will be applied in a new groundwater production plant of Brabant Water, which is currently designed by Architecture firm Inbo. More than a thousand liters of local iron sludge will be processed to produce 10.000 tiles for a prominent wall in this building.

The tiles will be applied in an artistic pattern reflecting the character of water. 
At this moment ceramics company Royal Tichelaar is taking care of the production of the tiles. The realization of the water production plant is planned for 2023.

Curious? You can already order a sample of the tiles here.