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The ceramic-like material is made by carbonizing mineral rich soil, a traditional Japanese technique. Clay is being sintered at a temperature of more than 1100 degrees Celsius (2012 degrees Fahrenheit). During this process a carbon film is deposited on the surface through chemical vapor deposition, resulting in an intrinsic silverlike colour and good weather resistance. The carbon film essentially consists of carbon black-like atoms that have a unique microstructure. Half of the atoms form oriented clusters parallel to the basal clay plane, which results in the metallic colour. The rest form random clusters, that rigidly connect the layered clusters and result in high durability. Due to its porosity, the manufacturer claims, material has humidity-regulating properties. During high humidity conditions, Koyo Ibushi, as the rigid, microporous material is called, absorbs moisture and releases it once the humidity reduces. It absorbs smells (similar to the way in which the porosity in active carbon does) and has claimed ‘anti-freezing’ properties due to the emission of far-infrared rays. Koyo Ibushi is available in tiles and panels; the tiles, with various threedimensional designs, are handmade. All sizes are customizable. The material is suitable for indoor as well as outdoor use.
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