When we opened a specialist area for hand-forming fibre cement at our Payerne factory in 1957, the foundation was laid for future freedom in the design of planters and design objects. As a pioneer in the manufacture of fibre cement panels for building façades and roofs, Eternit sought out collaborations with architects and designers, and in doing so built a bridge between design and industry.
Making fibre cement
Fibre cement is made from Portland cement from the local region, cellulose from plant fibres, water and recyclable reinforcement fibres. These raw materials are combined in an intensive mixer until all the components have bonded together.
The cement slurry is then poured out into a panel-forming machine and the resulting layer then goes into a format roll to be rolled out in the form of freshly pressed fibre cement.
Cutting to shape
When fibre cement is still damp, the material is extremely malleable, which means this is the perfect time to cut the sheet and form it into the desired shape.
This process enables the creation of iconic design classics like the Guhl Loop Chair, as well as contemporary design objects like the ECAL Stooland the Aladin Planter, and other custom designs from various customers.
Fibre cement pieces are formed into shape for each individual design as quickly and precisely as possible by our experienced manufacturing team. They skilfully join pieces of damp fibre cement together in a mould, removing every tiny air bubble and smoothing the seams to ensure that they are invisible and completely inseparable.
This makes every piece one of a kind. All planters and design objects are also stamped with a unique reference number.
First setting in the mould
The hand-formed planters and design objects are placed in a designated area in the factory for air-curing for 1–2 days, depending on their size. After this, they can be removed from their moulds, either by hand or with the use of pressurised air. Once removed from their moulds, all ‘brows’ and edges are neatly sanded and polished
to give each item a perfect finish.
Planters that are being given a coating go straight from their mould into a bath of Luko solution for soaking. After removing the planters and draining all excess solution, the planters are preheated in a specialist kiln before being manually coated using a color spray gun – either in anthracite or a custom color.
Once coated in color, they go back to the kiln for firing.
Good things take time
– airing for 21 days
For uncoated, natural grey planters and design objects, we don’t use a kiln for the final drying process. Instead, we carefully pack them in the factory and leave them to air-dry for 21 days. After three weeks, the material achieves the high level of stability that it’s known for.
Transport to customers
Once completely dried and carefully packed up, all planters and design objects – whether natural grey or colour-coated – are stored in the large warehouse at our factory while they await transport to you.
Whether they are being delivered to somewhere in Switzerland or the other side of the world, all items are delivered with the highest quality guaranteed.