The Story of Clay

The Swiss Alps

The story of clay starts in the mountains...

For the journey to begin two processes must first take place “chemical erosion” and “weathering”.

1. Chemical Erosion and Weathering

Chemical erosion is the breakdown and decay of rock. Weathering is the process by which rocks are broken down at the Earth’s surface

The rocks are broken down into such things as sediments, soils, and in our story, clay. Through these two processes, a large deposit of clay begins to form at the base of the mountain.

 As clouds build-up and it begins to rain, rivers begin to form off the base of the mountain where through further chemical erosion more of this clay is carried down the river picking up minerals such as iron and sand.

2. Movement

This clay is then deposited down the river.

At the end of the river rock particles are broken down further becoming smaller in size and more easily transportable. The small particles of clay eventually settle and are deposited along slow-moving rivers or at the bed of lakes, away from strong currents.  

This is the part where we come in!

3. Extraction

The clay is then extracted from the ground and transported to our local factories

We start by removing any unwanted materials. The next step is to add water, the clay is then ready to be shaped in a mould or pressed to form clay pavers. 

4. Drying and Firing

The pavers now need to dry

The pavers now need to dry for 4 to 45 hours depending on the type of product. During this time, the moisture content falls to the required level of 2%. Once our pavers are dried and treated they are then ready for the firing process. The clay pavers are transferred to a kiln, where they are fired for a period of 6 to 36 hours becoming strong, durable and fire-resistant.

5. Quality Control

When cooled, they receive quality control in our laboratories

They are then distributed ready for use in a wide variety of projects from commercial to domestic. 

So, How Has Clay Stood The Test Of Time?

Throughout human history, we only have to look to the evidence that exists to see that clay as a building choice has been employed as one of nature's most trusted natural material's, with its use even dating as far back as the Babylonian civilisation in 3000BC.

It is an incredibly versatile and robust material which throughout the years has been utilised in many ways, these include; cooking pots, artwork, kitchen utensils and of course - construction. Clay as a natural product can retain its colour for hundreds of years due to its colour properties, which naturally exist within the material's earthy texture. The reason why Clay has stood the test of time is because of exactly that, it is a trusted material that retains its quality and aesthetics for many years, allowing for legacies that are built to last. 

Discover our Story of Clay

For the past 200 years, we've been doing things in our unique Wienerberger style. And by doing so, we've created a reputation for quality, expertise, and innovation. The story of clay starts in the mountains, it then undergoes chemical erosion, weathering, extraction, baking along with being quality checked, ready to be distributed for use in a variety of your landscape projects.

Fählensee, Switzerland

Need help?

Contact us for more information.