70 years of brick research in Essen

Important events in the history of the brick industry are associated with the year 1952. The European interest group Tiles & Bricks Europe was founded in Zurich. Porous bricks were regulated for the first time in the 1952 edition of DIN 105. A third event of this year was commemorated in Essen on 2 June 2022: the founding of the Institut für Ziegelforschung e. V. (IZF).

Congratulations on the anniversary

More than 50 participants gathered in the courtyard of the Institute to celebrate the anniversary in a festive manner. The members of the Institute met with its friends and comrades-in-arms, well-wishers from the industry and representatives of friendly research institutes and of the Federal Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry, such as the new Managing Director Attila Gerhäuser.

The celebration was opened by the first chairman of the association, Murray Rattana-Ngam. The Lord Mayor of Essen, Thomas Kufen, thanked the IZF for its solidarity with the city of Essen. Institutions like the IZF maintain and promote Essen as a science location. Congratulations also came from the Chief Executive of the AGAD, Employers’ Association Wholesale-Foreign Trade-Services e.V., Dr Oliver Klug, who presented the IZF with a certificate. An overview of the history of the “birthday child” was given by Eckhard Rimpel, Deputy Director of the Institute. At the end, Murray Rattana-Ngam invited everyone to share a drink.

The IZF then and now

The IZF was founded on 24 July 1952 as a testing and research institute for brick products. Its predecessor was a mobile research and testing centre started in March 1950. Initially, the focus was on developing a uniform product standard after the war and promoting understanding of raw materials and processes. The field of activity quickly expanded to include research and consulting in the entire field of brick production and application. Increased activities in building research and brick development were reflected, among other things, in contributions to DIN 105. In the 1980s, the focus of the work changed - the subject of process engineering moved into the centre, with a special focus on drying and firing. The research projects were mostly financed by the AIF (Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen “Otto von Guericke” e.V.), founded in 1954, as the project management organisation. Since 1975, the IZF has carried out around 170 research projects through the AIF. Of these, around 80 were concerned with the topics energy optimisation and environmental protection.

Today, 21 employees, one institute director, eleven scientists and nine technical staff are working on 26 research projects. 19 of these are carried out within the framework of the AIF programme Industrial Cooperative Research.

The IZF conducts research and works in close cooperation with industry. Funding is largely provided by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, and 22 members of the association are companies in the brick and supply industry. Through this close contact with industry, many results from both pre-competitive research (AiF) and direct and indirect company research have been incorporated into brickworks, plant construction and standards and guidelines.

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