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Ball clays

Control casting rates and improve plasticity, strength and rheological stability with our range of ball clays (plastic clays) for sanitaryware, porcelain tiles, facing bricks and refractories.

https://sibelco.getbynder.com/m/2776fa00d4a3ad3f/large-ball-clay.jpg
photoshoot from Sourthacre Quarry UK 2006

about

Ball clays


Ball clays (also referred to as plastic clays) are fine-grained, highly plastic sedimentary clays, derived from kaolinite typically moved from decomposed feldspar present in igneous source rocks, such as granite. High quality ball clays are relatively scarce, and valued for their key properties of plasticity, rheology, unfired strength and light fired colour.

As well as kaolinite, ball clays typically contain other ‘contaminants’ that provide its unique characteristics. Layered mineral contaminants provide strength, whereas carbon contaminants can provide favourable rheological properties, well suited for sanitaryware production. 

Sibelco’s
UK ball clays
(known as
SANBLEND
) are used primarily for sanitaryware, whilst our
Ukrainian clays
are used mainly in porcelain tiles. Clays from our operations in Germany and Russia are used in ceramics, bricks and refractories. 

Key characteristics of ball clay include:

  • rheological stability 
  • unfired strength 
  • plasticity and workability 
  • contribution to vitrification
  • light firing colour

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