Author Topic: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento  (Read 14650 times)

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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #100 on: January 06, 2015, 08:26:02 PM »
Engineers have studied pozzolans for hundreds of years.  There is no mystery there, only chemistry.  A TV show may make it seem mysterious, but it is not, not in the least.  We could recreate Roman cement exactly, but there is no need as modern equivalents out perform them.  Same with biscotti, there is no mystery there, but other materials out perform them.


Offline Neopolitan

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #101 on: January 07, 2015, 11:38:10 AM »
Eh...
They might know What is inside still they have not been able to sucsesfully recreate the waterproof roman concrete.
Ancient roman concrete buildings and harbours have stood the test of time without the reinforcement of steel, Can we say the same of Modern concrete?
What material outperforms Biscotto? as a high heat hearth Floor. And how?
And If Biscotto is easy to replicate why is it only produced in Some of the last artisan teracotta factories who seem to have continued their Ancient recipies?
And these factories are situated on volcanic soil.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 11:48:00 AM by Neopolitan »

Offline Neopolitan

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« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 12:12:23 PM by Neopolitan »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #103 on: January 07, 2015, 12:13:38 PM »
The "secret" ingredient in Roman cement are pozzolans.  We use pozzolans every day in the industry.  We do not use concrete as the Romans did because we use reinforced concrete, thus reducing the mass (expense) required for a given use.   Low duty firebrick is better than biscotti from a wear standpoint with about the same thermal properties.  Biscotti is produced all over the world, it is just not called biscotti.  The gentleman pictured is making "biscotti" down in Mexico.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #104 on: January 07, 2015, 12:23:37 PM »
I have studied Roman concrete for many years in all aspects down to the molecular.  It was an impressive use of technology for it's time, but there is no mystery to it.  The particular advantages that it had have been adapted for modern use:

It was naturally hydraulic, which simply means that it will set under water.  During the time Roman concrete was used, the volcanic pozzolan was the most common hydraulic known, but others were known and used (naturally hydraulic limes were used concurrently in the area of today's France, for example).

The pozzolans act as both a plasticizer and a water-reducer (as does lime, hydraulic or not).

Salt water could be used to mix it (we have not pushed this aspect since we generally use rebar or other metal reinforcing and they do not play well with excess salts, but normal portland cement can be used in salt water concrete with no other issues).

Offline Neopolitan

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #105 on: January 07, 2015, 01:40:28 PM »
Interesting stuff, Tsarborough!

What If the romans would have used reinforced concrete? I don't think Their most impressive building The Pantheon would be still standing. They used the ultra light pumicestone So light it floats on water, in the mix enabeling the dome to survive al this time without the aid of reinforcement. I think somebody commented with reinforcement it would have been to heavy and colapse.

Roman time France would have been roman occupied Gaul I presume.
I have been A lot in France there are many Roman queries and Towns
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 01:46:44 PM by Neopolitan »

Offline Neopolitan

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #106 on: January 07, 2015, 01:48:57 PM »
Have You tried to use the Mexican Biscotto or teracotta?

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #107 on: January 07, 2015, 02:35:43 PM »
I haven't tried to use it, but I have tested it.  It would work fine for the dome, but like biscotti is too soft for me to use it for the floor.  What I have considered doing is building a mold (like the one that gentleman in the photo is using) with wedge shaped 1/2 bricks.  The cost to benefit ratio is too low though (You have to pay up-front, and the minimum order is in the 10s of thousands).

The Romans did build with reinforced masonry and concrete.  The Romans understood enough of the forces at play to realize that by keeping all of the masonry in compression, they could eliminate most if not all of the reinforcing.  There is evidence that they used granite and even iron chains as reinforcing in areas that they assumed would suffer from either shear or tension forces, and the use of metal clamps was common..



Offline Neopolitan

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #108 on: January 07, 2015, 05:59:56 PM »
The Metal Clamps are really of prehistoric use but typical in bronze to connect two marble stones. Bronze is long lasting material if not looted for reuse!
But Marble was a exotic luxury material for the Romans that, except for the local Carrara marble that they discovered late in the empire and was not of common use often just for Show/decoration. Especially when the found out the hard way that Marble is not fireproof, they refrained from using it on buildings and used brick for building or even decoration.

Do the Mexican handmade bricks originate from a volcanic area?     


Offline Tscarborough

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #109 on: January 07, 2015, 06:18:16 PM »
Bronze was preferred because it doesn't rust.  Iron is a better material to use, but it swells when it rusts, causing the masonry to crack.

No, they are made from Rio Grande mud which is mildly hydraulic though.

Offline stonecutter

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #110 on: January 07, 2015, 07:34:25 PM »
They used a lot of molten lead in the joinery and it functioned like joggles in columns and structural work.
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #111 on: January 07, 2015, 07:52:20 PM »
They also used clay tiles as a tensioning element.  They were smart as @#&$ about building with masonry.

Offline stonecutter

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #112 on: January 07, 2015, 08:22:06 PM »
Agreed.  I also agree with something you said earlier about low duty fire brick.  All things being equal...like the dough, the pizzaiolo, the fuel used, oven management.....I don't see the practicality of using a material for the floor that wears out as fast as biscotti.  Traditional yes, practical...imo, no.
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Offline Vino1986

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #113 on: February 21, 2015, 05:44:35 PM »
Was Hoping someone could explain the differences between the biscotti di sorrento, soapstone and longevity. The floor i my oven has started tremendous amounts of pitting within 4 months and is getting worse. Ive heard ferrara ovens have been seeing huge problems with there flooring this past year. Is it the stone? Not layed down correctly. This is pretty frustrating.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #114 on: February 21, 2015, 06:15:22 PM »
Soapstone is a natural rock. Biscotto is man made and is more like firebrick, and as you have noticed, it wears out over time. Soaptsone is at least 10X too conductive for the floor of a high temp WFO. It will burn the heck out of your pizza bottoms at Neapolitan temps.
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Offline stonecutter

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Re: An Open Call to Ceramic Engineers- Reverse Engineering Biscotto di Sorrento
« Reply #115 on: February 22, 2015, 06:17:25 AM »
Was Hoping someone could explain the differences between the biscotti di sorrento, soapstone and longevity. The floor i my oven has started tremendous amounts of pitting within 4 months and is getting worse. Ive heard ferrara ovens have been seeing huge problems with there flooring this past year. Is it the stone? Not layed down correctly. This is pretty frustrating.

The problem is the material, not the installation.  Get some good quality low duty firebrick when the floor fails.
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When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
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« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 08:19:08 AM by sub »


Offline squadricus

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Interesting thread. 

This was the money quote in a web page of California Lightweight Pumice I printed a couple of years ago:

"Hardened pumice aggregate concrete has the unique capability of being nailed, sawed or drilled with ordinary hand tools."

This property is related to the bubbles in pumice stopping the propagation of cracks.  Seems like this might apply to cracking from thermal, as well as mechanical causes.

I recall reading something to the effect that pumice made a good lining for furnace, kiln, oven, or forge chambers, but the details elude me.

The practice of including horsehair in the clay body for tandoors had me wondering if some carbon fibers might be generated from the horsehair when the tandoor was cured.

With a resistances in series approach to getting the thermal conductivity dialed in, lamination with layers of materials with various thermal and mechanical properties seems hopeful.  The monoliths, woodpiles, honeycombs, and foams used in producing catalyst supports offer some interesting, although probably not cheap, approaches to building a core for heat transfer.

   

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Offline Neopolitan

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Another roundup: biscotto saputo vs biscotto siculo

Ah there You have the Volcanic ash, limestone or pumstone and and clay.

Somebody adviced me to Get the cheapest local riverclay to produce my own terracott(see my Micro Neapolitan home oven thread)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 06:31:48 AM by Neopolitan »

Offline sub

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It would be better to order directly from Saputo.

Another thread with the density of the biscotto:  Biscotto platea, Come riconoscere i migliori