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Book Chapter

14. Brick and other ceramic products

Published:
January 01, 2006

Abstract

Clay has been used in a wide range of ceramic products for thousands of years and continues to be a major component in most ceramic bodies today. Fiebinger (1997) states that the annual worldwide production of clay is nearly 400 million tonnes. In the top 50 ranking of extracted minerals and materials, clay is placed 8th with respect to quantity, and 19th in terms of value. Over 90% of the annual tonnage is utilized in the heavy or structural clay sector, with the remainder (predominantly ball clays and plastic clays) being used for higher quality or fine ceramic products. The value of the worldwide ceramic production (of all varieties) was estimated at US$ 113 billion in 2000 (Reh 2000). From 1991 to 1999, growth was significant in the advanced ceramics, tile and sanitaryware sectors, but less so in structural ceramics and refractory products, as detailed below:

  • wall and floor tiles; 70% growth with US$ 14 billion turnover in 1999;

  • advanced ceramics (including the carbon and graphite sector); 63% growth with US$ 40 billion turnover in 1999;

  • sanitaryware; 50% growth with US$ 12 billion turnover in 1999;

  • structural ceramic sector (bricks, roofing tiles, pipes); 17.5% growth with US$ 23 billion turnover in 1999;

  • refractory products; <10% growth with US$ 12 billion turnover in 1999.

The technical definition of a ceramic product is ‘a product that is composed of polycrystalline, inorganic and non-metallic materials that have been subjected to a temperature of 540°C or more during manufacture or use’ (O’Bannon 1984). In spite of the availability of modern, alternative products manufactured from plastic, steel, paper, glass-fibre/resin composites, borosilicate glass etc., the demand for ceramic products in all sectors remains relatively strong. This chapter describes how the chemical, physical and ceramic properties of the clay components have a predominant influence on the characteristics of both the unfired and fired product, and also considers the role and importance of the other body materials.

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Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publications

Clay Materials Used in Construction

G. M. Reeves
G. M. Reeves
UHI Millennium Institute, Thurso, UK
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I. Sims
I. Sims
STATS Limited, St Albans, UK
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J. C. Cripps
J. C. Cripps
University of Sheffield, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
21
ISBN electronic:
9781862393837
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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