Grinding and polishing are important steps in the production of decorative vitreous ceramic tiles. Different combinations of finishing wheels and polishing wheels are tested to optimize their selection. The results show that the surface glossiness depends not only on the surface quality before machining, but also on the characteristics of the ceramic tiles as well as the performance of grinding and polishing wheels.
The performance of the polishing wheel is the key for a good final surface quality. The surface glossiness after finishing must be above 20° in order to get higher polishing quality because finishing will limit the maximum surface glossiness by polishing. The optimized combination of grinding and polishing wheels for all the steps will achieve shorter machining times and better surface quality.
No obvious relationships are found between the hardness of ceramic tiles and surface quality or the wear of grinding wheels; therefore, the hardness of the ceramic tile cannot be used for evaluating its machinability.