Ceramic is a strong hard material with low ductility. The material is used on architectural facades in harsh environments such as the Arabian Peninsula. Sandy, windy environments can take a toll on a building. The heavy beating from a sandstorm will embed silicon in metal, which can cause the facade to take on a rusty appearance.
For many years, ceramic panel systems were not a good option, because the mechanical fixing of the panel was limited to adhesives and cements. If the adhesive failed, the facade panels could fall on pedestrians.
In recent years, the ceramic facades have taken on a new life. Mechanically fastened ceramic facades have been used on a number of increasingly complex projects, including the Sidra Medical Center in Qatar. This facade has a subtle dual-curvature made using a ceramic cladding. The project used ZEPPS, the Zahner-patented technology for building complex curved roof and facade systems.
A number of color options are available, from terra cotta and porcelain. A great potential exists for custom glazed ceramic systems. Zahner has developed water jet and laser cutting systems for ceramic which can carve stunning patterns in the material.