ABSTRACT

In this contribution, a new raw material, Uşak clay (Usc), was investigated in order to assess its potential for the ceramic industry by comparing it with a world reference ceramic material, a Ukrainian clay (Ukc). Mineralogical characterization (X-ray diffraction [XRD], scanning electron microscopy [SEM] and Fourier-transform infrared [FTIR] spectroscopy), quantitative chemical analysis (X-ray fluorescence [XRF]) and the thermal properties of Ukc and Usc samples were investigated. Additionally, Atterberg limits, particle-size distribution and cation exchange capacity of both samples were determined. Various technological properties of Ukc and Usc were determined in the temperature range 800–1430°C. The bending and compressive strengths, total linear shrinkage, colour, water absorption and unit-volume mass values were measured. The findings from these analyses show that kaolinite-dominated Ukc and quartz-dominated Usc samples differ from each other not only mineralogically, but also in terms of their chemical, physical and technological properties. The firing colour of Usc was determined as 84% white, and so this can be considered as a light firing clay. In addition, due to its low plasticity, Usc may be utilized to reduce both the plasticity of the ceramic materials and the viscosity in slip-casting applied ceramics. Furthermore, the melting temperature of 1300°C suggests that Usc cannot be classified as refractory. However, this property does suggest an economic value for Usc in terms of developing technological characteristics at lower firing temperatures.

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