An investigation has been carried out using a 60 W high power diode laser (HPDL) to determine the feasibility of sealing the void between adjoining ceramic tiles with a specially developed grout material. A single-stage process has subsequently been devised using a new grout material which consists of two distinct components: a crushed ceramic tile mix substrate and a glazed enamel surface; the crushed ceramic tile mix provides a tough, inexpensive bulk substrate, whilst the enamel provides an impervious surface glaze. HPDL processing has resulted in crack and porosity free seals produced in normal atmospheric conditions. The single-stage grout is simple to formulate and easy to apply. Tiles were successfully sealed with power densities as low as 750 W/cm2 and at rates of up to 420 mm/min. Bonding of the enamel to the crushed ceramic tile mix was identified as being primarily due to van der Waals forces and, on a very small scale, some of the crushed ceramic tile mix material dissolving into the glaze
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