Swiss bathroom manufacturer Laufen has introduced a new material, called SaphirKeramik (Sapphire Ceramics), which the company is hoping will lead “a fundamental change in the design vocabulary of ceramics.”
First unveiled at the ISH show in Frankfurt, Germany, SaphirKeramik is perceptibly sturdier and has greater flexural strength, thanks to its unique composition. According to Laufen, wall thicknesses of no more than 4 millimeters are now possible, making the material suitable for situations where designs call for delicate shapes and tight radii. It also makes for lighter bodies and simpler structures, lowering production costs and energy consumption during transport.
The two pilot washbasin bowls on display at ISH were created by designer Andreas Dimitriadis of Stuttgart-based platinumdesign. “The new ceramic material from Laufen requires a whole new way of thinking,” he says. “We now think in terms of precise edges and slender wall thicknesses, instead of surfaces and tolerances.”