EPiC database - Clay roof tile

This material is part of the free Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database. The EPiC Database contains embodied environmental flow coefficients for 250+ construction materials using a comprehensive hybrid life cycle inventory approach.

Clay roof tiles, also known as terracotta tiles are a common roofing option. They are durable, weather resistant, fire resistant, and have a high thermal mass compared with other roofing materials. Tiles are interlocking, to ensure a consistent weatherproof roof covering, and require ongoing maintenance to ensure they remain weatherproof. Tiles can be brittle, and crack easily if not handled/treated correctly.

The manufacturing process for clay tiles is similar to the production of other ceramic products. Clay is prepared and mixed to ensure consistent particle size and mineral content. The clay is then moulded or extruded into tile shaped elements. These are dried in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, and fired in a high temperature oven/kiln. Coatings or glazing can be applied to ensure the tiles are waterproof, or provide other construction or aesthetic qualities. The colour of the tile largely depends on the mineral content of the clay, the final firing temperature, or the coating/glazing applied.

Clay roof tiles are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, including specific regional styles which are influenced by roof pitch, weather conditions, availability of raw materials and aesthetic qualities.


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