Abstract

The present study focused on the assessment and possible applications of the clay from the Miličinica deposit, western Serbia. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Infrared (IR) spectroscopy, Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), Differential Thermal Analysis and Thermogravimetry (DTA-TG) and High Temperature Microscopy (HTM) were used to characterize the clay in question. The physical properties determined were colour, plasticity, specific surface area, particle-size distribution and cation exchange capacity (CEC). Clay minerals are the main phases in the samples studied, with illite being the predominant phase and kaolinite being present in variable amounts. Quartz, feldspars, carbonates and iron-bearing minerals were also detected. Varied technological behaviours were expected because of the mineralogy (illite and iron contents), average grain size (0.6–0.7 µm), specific surface area (≈60 m2/g) and plasticity index (≈13%). The classification of the clays studied, based on the main characteristics and using appropriate diagrams, suggests that they are easily adaptable for ceramic processes.

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