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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Technology (IJAERT) 308

Volume 4 Issue 10, October 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

GEOLOGICAL/SURVEY OF CLAY MATERIAL

Dr. A.B. Etukudoha, Prof. O.K. Oyeokub,


a
Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu State, Nigeria
b
University Of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
arit_etukudohproda@yahoo.com

Abstract Primary igneous rocks that have clays on weathering


This work centralizes more on the use of ceramic were the granites, gneisses, feldspars, pegmatite, etc.
materials in geological surveys, which considers the The weathering of these primary rocks were achieved by
mineralogy, reis classification, ball clay, fire clays, the mechanical action of water, wind, glacier and earth
Clays occurs in deposit of greatly varying nature in movements working together with the chemical action of
many parts of the world. No two deposits have exactly water, carbon dioxide, humic acids and more rarely,
the same clay and frequently different samples of clay sulphurous and fluorous gases, assisted by elevated
from the same deposits differ. It is therefore worthwhile temperature [3]. The weathered rocks have in some cases
to give brief consideration to the origin and mineralogy remained in their original position, these are the residual
of clay. First, clay is a secondary rock that is, it has clays. More frequently the weathering agents and other
been formed by weathering of certain other rocks. influences have transported the small particles and
Secondly, clay is a mixture. deposited them elsewhere. During the transportation
sorting by size takes place, also mixing in of weathering
Introduction products from other sources occurs. The deposits from

The works discloses the geological characteristics of water are always layered. Deposits from wind

clay taken from the environmental agents, from which transportation are known as loss, they are not stratified

different deposits make up the clay, thus gives a and have a much more porous and crumbly structure [4].

characterization of the clay available in any region helps


in its applicable and general usage either in ceramic, 1.1 Mineralogy

drilling mud, refractories, plastics, paints, textiles and The basic rocks from which clays are formed are

adhesives, paper foundry, pharmaceuticals, rubbers complex aluminosilicates. During the weathering these

[1,3,2 ]. become hydrolyzed, the alkali and alkaline earth ions


from soluble salts and are leached out. The remainder
Keywords: Clays,Geology, mineralogy, Vitrification,
consists of hydrated aluminosilicates of varying
Chemical equations.
composition and structure and free silica. This remainder
is therefore more refractory than the original igneous
1.0 Geology
rock. Unchanged rock particles e.g. feldspar, mica and

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quartz remain in the clay [5&7]. This process can be knowledge obtained makes it possible to divide them
represented by chemical equation e.g. into groups. Basically the structures are dominated by
the distribution of the commonest and large actions,
1. + + namely oxygen. In between them oxygen. In between
themare: tetrahedral, octahedral and polyhedral spaces
2. + [1& 2]. The way in which these are filled determines
how they are attracted and held together. The five main

3. + clay mineral groups are outlined below.

The simplest clay mineral group is the kaolin group, this

4. + includes; kaolinite, dickite, nacrite; anauxit; halloysite,

high and low temperature form; livesite. Their basic

5. + structure consist of oxygen atoms arranged to give

alternate layers of tetrahedral holes and octahedral holes


[4]. Where these layers are filled with silicon in the
6. +
tetrahedral holes and aluminium in two-thirds of the

The liberated silica is probably hydrated, this is a octahedral ones, we get the common mineral kaolinite

convenient way of obtaining a picture of the processes. It and the more perfect and rarer mineral dickite and

must however, be remembered that these chemicals nacrite. Where silicones replace aluminums in octahedral

formulae have little physical significance as most of the spaces (hydrogen being expelled to keep the charge
right) a continuous series is obtained with a
substances under consideration exist as giant molecules.
The actual weathering process must be highly nauxiter . , as the end member. These crystals

complicated. In the general equation will not be given are all thin plates. They bend to become stacked on top

for any, but the most straight forward reaction. The of each other and loosely cemented into aggregates

hydrated silicates of aluminum are the clay substances [3&6].

which gives the clays their main defined characteristic. Halloysioe crystals are elongated. The adjacent oxygen

One of the predominant properties of these substances is layers are able to take up a uni-molecular water layer. A

the extreme fineness of their particles [1]. This factor, so continuous series from kaolinite to hallo site exists,

vital to their physico-chemical nature, was far a long intermediate members are termed livesite. Inside the

time a major stumbling block to investigation. With the crystal there is no excess charge. On the surface

aid of the microscope, the election microscope, x-ray distortions occur and excess negative charges may be

diffraction and differential thermal analysis it has now step up. Positive ions are then absorbed to neutralize it.

been established that clay particles are extremely small The livesite of English in fireclays is described as a

flake-like particles of crystal-line minerals. A number of kaolin type of mineral randomly oriented along with the

these minerals have now been investigated and the b-axis and with ultimate particles much smaller than
those of kaolinite from china clay, a proportion of them

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Volume 4 Issue 10, October 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

being less than . . . The structure of the crystal is montmorillonites water does not enter into the lattice
further disordered by the substitution of + itself and expand it, as adjacent layers are held together
+ +, leading an inherent by potassium ions [2,3,4&7,].
negative in the structure. The mineral readily attracts The general formula is;
cations, mostly +, to balance this charge. The . . . 6 . With y
montmorillonite group of clay mineral presents a very varying from 1 to 1.5
different picture. An unusual clay mineral is acceptable which is fibrous.
1. . . + It is found only in Florida and Georgia (U.S.A). Fullers
, . . . earths and clay at Mormorion, France. Suggested
2. , , . . . , formulas are;

. , . 8 . ,

3. , . . . . .
, . . ( . ) 8

4. , . . The term allophane is used to cover non-crystalline


5. nautual solution of silica, alumina and water. Although a
constituency of clays this is not a true mineral. Future
These are two layers of tetrahedral holes to every one of investigation will throw more light on this group.
octahedral ones. These minerals have the common These main group are divide minerals according to their
property of absorbing large quantities of water between general properties as well as their chemical composition.
adjacent layers. The oxygen lattice is such that its spaces It may be useful may occur under two name. Some of
may be filled by different atoms; the octahedral spaces the named minerals have already been proved to be a
may have aluminium, magnesium fetric or zinc, the mixture, others may be prove to be so.
tetrahedral may have silicon or aluminuim larger spaces The possible variation of chemical composition of a
that will accommodate akali cations are also present. The given mineral have been summarized by Engelhart and
charges are often unbalanced and large number of are presented here. Most natural clay are dominated
cations are absorbed and may be easily exchanged. smaller quantities of a few others. Clays also have a
These structure make it easy to split the particles into number of other constituents, which are not in
very fine charged fragments ideally suit to go into themselves, plastic the chief one is quartz, which
colloidal sols. together with feldspar are m:ca are unaltered remainders
The next group of clay material is illite or hydromica of the parent rocks [3&5]. The hydromicas are partially
group. These resemble the micas and they have layer altered fragments under certain high-temperature
spaces which contains cations to keep it charged neutral. condition the weathering has proceeded beyond the clay
Their finely divided state, however, make many of these stage to give free aluminuim hydrates, namely gibbsite
cations accessible for exchange, unlike the and diaspora. These are, however unusual.

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Iron compounds, often the oxides are frequently present 1.3.Parent Rock Shape
and constitute the main colouring agents in clay. Many Granite, pegmatite, Blanket, tabular,
others mineral occur in clays. Many other minerals occur rhyolite, limestone, steeply, dipply
in clay, . . , shale, feldsparic, masses, pocketeer or
, . quartzite, gnesis, lenses
, , schist e.tc [2].
,glauconite (a
variable hydrous silicate of iron and potassium), horn b. Ferruginous clays from different kinds or rock.
blends (silicate of calcium and magnesium also i. White residual clay formed by the action of
containing iron, manganese, sodium and potassium) ascending waters possibly of igneous origin.
garnet(silicate minerals of special structure) vanadtes, (a) Formed by rising carbonated water
wavellite (b) Formed by sulphalc solution

6 6 . . , ii. Residual clay formed by the action of


.Organic Inclusions also downward percolating sulphace solution.
occur and may play a very important role. Many of these iii. White residual clay formed by replacements,
are introduce during the transportation. due to action of waters, supposedly of
It is therefore hardly surprising that everyday clay is meteoric origin (indianite).
different. Classifications of clay is a big task and leads to B. Colluvial clays, representing deposits formed by
a different result according to the viewpoint taken, wash from the foregoing and of either refractory
whether geological, mineralogical, with regard to or non-refractory character.
properties or according to use. A geological C. Transported Clays.
classification, as made by Reis gives some idea about the I. Deposited in water.
position as well as the nature of clays and is of useful (a) Marine Clay or Shales, deposits often of great
preliminary guide to the ceramic industry. extent; ball-clays, white burning clays; fire clay
or shape, buff burning.
1.2. Reis Classification Impure clays or shapes {

A. Residual clays formed in place by rock alteration
(b) Lacustrine clays (deposited in lake or swamps);
due to various agents of either surface or deep
Fire clays ore shales;
sealed origin.
Impure clays or shales, red-burning calcareous
Those formed by surface weathering, the processes of
clays, usually of surface character.
decomposition of silicates.
(c) Flood plain clays, usually impure and sandy
a. Kaolin, white in colour and usually while
(d) Estuarine clays (deposited in estuarine) mostly
burning
impure and finely laminated
(e) Delta Clays.

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ii. Glacial clays, found in the drift and often stony, may 3. High aluminum clays
be either red-or cream-burning. (a) Gibbsite
iii. Wind-formed deposits (some loess). (b) Diaspore
v. Chemical deposits (some flint-clay). C. Heavy clay-products clay (of low plasticity, but
Ernest Forkel and Gehlen have put forward a method of containing fluxes).
short and description of clay on a mineralogical basis, as 1. Paving brick clays and shales.
they consider this to be a scientific foundation from 2. Sewer-pipe clays and shales.
which properties and uses can be derived. For instance, 3. Brick and hollow tile clays and shale.
although mineral content cannot be derived from D. Stone ware clays (plastic, containing fluxes)
chemical analysis, the reverse can give a fair value. Also E. Brick clays (plastic, containing iron oxide).
they have shown that firing behavior, i.e. P.C.E of 1. Terra-cotta clays.
mixtures of minerals can be plotted on diagrams and 2. Fale and common bricks.
then compounds with phase rule data with which does F. Slip clays (continually more iron oxide)
not coincide, the former being of greater use to the We will now consider the difference important clays.
ceramist.
Their proposed system to use initial capital letters to 1.4. Kaolin:
denote mineral groups. Eg. K, Kaoline, Q, Quartz, F, The names is a corruption of the Chinese kao-ling
Feldspar with index letters when the mineral know more meaning high ridge a local designation for the area
accurately. The letters are used in the order showing the where a white china clay was found. The kaolins or
relative quantities and or percentages are given. Added china clays, the latter expression often being reserved for
to these are values form the half weight particles half the Cornish product are white-burning clays, generally
bigger and the surface factor of greater industrial use is a of low plasticity and high refractoriness. When mined
classification according to the properties and therefore they are rather siliceous, e.g. of the Cornish clay rock
uses of the clays themselves as given by Norton [2,3,4]. only about 13% is extracted as china clay. But, after
A. White burning clays (used in white ware). washing the chemical composition of the clay
1. Kaolins approximates to that of kaolinite, this mineral does in
(a) Residual; fact predominant in kaolins, but others are present [2].
(b) Sedimentary Many theories have been advanced about the conversion
2. Ball clay of feldspar to kaolin. The three most satisfactory being
B. Refractory Clays (having a fusion point above (1) The igneous emanation theory (2) The surface
1600, but not necessary white (burning) weathering theory and (3) The bog or moor water theory.
1. Kaolin (sedimentary) According to the first theory igneous gasses, originating
2. Fire clays; in the centre of the earth and containing superheated
(a) Flint steam, boron and fluorine compounds, carbondioxide,
(b) Plastic etc. Are the active agents. This theory accounts for deep

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deposits like the world-famous ones in corn wall and comparatively plastic without showing too much air-and
west Devon, The depth of which is not known. fire shrinkage stone-wares clays includes those clays that
Kaolinisation due to surface weathering i.e. downward resembles except that they do not burn to a white
per-coating water, containing carbondioxide, is product [6].
necessarily of limited depth and there is a graduation
from rock base to the fully weathered product. The 1.7. Fire clays:
china-clay deposits are formed in this way. The fact that The use of this term has unfortunately become
many of the kaolin deposits and near beds of ignite increasingly wide ad thereby loose in its application.
points to the fact that the drainage water from bogs Strictly it should be applied only to refractory clays and
containing ammoniocal salts and organic acids may have shales which occurs in hard masses that do not in their
been active kaolinisation agents. The most famous natural state take up water and become plastic, but on
deposits are the Cornish ones, followed by those of fine grinding will do so. Unfortunately the term fire
sedimentary kaolins. Part of the kaolin produced is used clay has been used to cover all types of clay deposited
for ceramics, the rest being employed as a filler in the in swamps or coal basins, i.e. associated with coal
paper, rubber, textile and numerous other industries of measures, without regard to its fusibility or firing
the use in ceramics some goes to white-burning pottery behavior[5].
and some to refractories [4]. This has necessitated the classification of fire clays. The
primary classification is according to physical character
1.5. Ball clays: into:
These are sedimentary plastic refractory clays which are 1. Plastic fire clay
dark in the unfired state because of organic impurities, 2. Semi-flint fire lay.
but burn white or cream coloured as long as they are not These resemble the plastic fire clay, but develop
vitrified fully. They have a large proportion of kaolinite, plasticity into after working and are somewhat more
but also contain a variety of impurities and probably refractory.
have some montmorillonite attached to the edge of the 3. Flint fire clay; these hard clays break with a
kaolionite platelet. The name derived from the English conchodal fracture and are refractory. They find
mining method of cutting the clay out in cubes or balls. great use in the refractories industry.
There are three important function of ball clay, they are 4. Nodular flint fire clay deposits of these clay are
used in white wares (earthen-ware, porcelain etc.) to rare, they are flint clays containing nodules of
make the body more plastic and workable. gibbsite or other hydrous aluminum oxides and
are therefore the most refractory classification
1.6. Stoneware: according to fusibility is also of importance.
Stone ware clay are refractory or semi refractory, but 1. Highly refractory clays fusing above cone 33).
contain enough flux to fire to a desired body at 2. Refractory clays fusing from cone 31.33
comparatively low temperature . They are inclusive.

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3. Semi-refractory clays fusing between cones 27- (b) Those for which the rage is approximately half
30. of the total range from incipient fusion to
4. Clays of low refractories low heat duty clays, viscosity.
fusing between cones 20 and 26. (c) Those for which the range from incipient to
This classification deals with only upper limit of use, complete vitrification is less than that from
the fusion point. It gives no guidance to the vitrification to viscosity. Investigation of the
temperature of incipient or complete vitrification constitution of refractory clays was taken and
which one needs to know for the manufacture of the major clay mineral component was first
certain products. The need of considering, in thought to be hellysite, but later proved to be
classifying clays according to changes in porosity another mineral of the kaolinite group, namely
and specific gravity curves for different temperature. livesite [2, 4, 6&7]. A secondary clay mineral
No.1 fire clay shoe a small regular decrease in component is illite. The main non-clay
porosity from the beginning of firing to above cone component is quartz. The third important
11 No.2 fire clay show an increase in loss of mineral in fire-clay is hydrous
porosity with consequent early vitrification, the mica . . . , , which is
changes beginning about cone 02 and becoming probably an intermediate product in the
marked with increasing temperature. No.3 fire clay breakdown of mica to livesite, or it may be a
shows a marked change with increasing porosity at mixture of muscovite and livesite. Livesite,
cone 4 and seldom have a fusion point above cone 6. hydrous mica and quartz make up 90-95% of
Another practical classification on similar lines is fire clay. Fire clay may also contain some iron
given when considers the temperature at which the compounds, but in general they are very pure
following occurs. and particularly free from soluble salts.
1. Some of the constituents fuse to a glass and The clay mineral constitudal are principally kaolinite
cement the more refractory grains together and hydromica, the hydromica probably being what
termed incipient vitrification. has been referred to as illite as some as well contain
2. Sufficient fusion occurs to close all the pores, a large quantity of dickite. The respective roles of
the maximum shrinkage taking place, termed the three main mineral in fire clays have been
complete vitrification. outlined. Livesite confers refractoriness and a high
3. So much fusion takes place that the body is just potential plasticity although this may require
no longer self-supporting, termed viscosity. weathering to make it active. Livesite gives a green
He groups the clays in the following ways:- strength considerably greater than a corresponding
(a) Clay for which the interval between incipient amount of kaolinite but less than halloysite and
and complete vitrification is more than that montorillonite. Hydrous mica may assist in
between complete vitrification and viscosity. developing the plasticity of livesite by opening up
the structure of the mined clay. Its chief function is

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its fluxing action which is greater in high-silica than 1.10. Brick Clays
in high-alumina clays and also depends on particle Large clay deposits have become such a mixture of
size. Fine-grained hydrous mica gives a large firing various minerals that they will fire to coloured bodies at
shrinkage up to 1200c or (2192F) but a mall after a relatively low temperature complete vitrification to a
contraction on reheating to 1400c (2552F) whereas stone ware is not possible, a porous product being
coarse-grained materials give a smaller firing obtained plate-like minerals are predominant, this
shrinkage but a larger after contraction. Quartz acts including not only the clay minerals but also mica and
as approx. up to about 1350c (2462F), but chlorites. It is possible that the mica is formed after the
thereafter acts as an active flux and can lead to rapid sedimentation of the clay. Certainly the sulphides are
contraction of the body. Fire clay are used chiefly formed in situ with the aid of organic materials are also
for refractories e.g. firebricks retorts, furnace linings, nitrates, the former being of more concern to the brick
and also for sanctuary wares and fites. maker than the later. There is also considerable
migration of carbonates in the caly leading to local
1.8. High alumina clays: concentrations. It is therefore not surprising that brick
The hydrated alumina minerals diaspora and gibbsite clays are localized and give rise to ware called by place
frequently occur together with kaolinite and may be used names.
for making refractories in the mixture in which they
occur the mixture containing diaspora diaspora clay 2.0. Loess:
are preferred to those with gibbsite because they have This clay also called brick earth, adobe, gumbo or till,
more favourable shrinkage properties. That usually unlike other clays, is a windborne sedimentary rock. It
contain over 60% alumina. The gibbsite-containing occurs as a loose or fragmentary yellowish rock which
mixture are termed bauxites, Bauxite clay having less readily rumbles when it is dry. The particles are uniform
than 50% gibbsite and argillanceous bauxite more than small and may contain quartz, un-weathered feldspar,
50%. iron minerals and calcium carbonate this last cements the
porous mass together.
1.9. Bentonite: Loes occurs in the different parts of the world. Loess
This clay is derived from volcanic ash. It is widely usually matures at low temperature to products of
distributed, occurring in beds from a few inches to ten varying colours. It is largely used for bricks. The purest
feet deep. The main clay mineral of bentonite is of naturally occurring minerals. Silica crystallizes in
montmorillonite. This makes the clay take up the water different forms at different temperature but as the
readily swell to four or five times it dry volume. It is changes are slow the unstable forms occurs naturally as
extremely plastic, has a low fusion point and gives a well as the far more common stable form which is a -
coloured product. The chief use of bentonite as a quartz.
plasticizer. Additional of 1% ball clay would making it
particularly useful for moulding.

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2.1. Conclusion
[3] Anon, the manufacture of ceramic colours
Clay is the basic or primary raw material in ceramics
ceramics 509, December (1950)
production, however there are other additives, used in
the composition/ formulation of different clay bodies, in
[4] Anon, Salt Glazed ware ceramics 5,162 (1953)
the making of different types of ceramic wares. The
chemical and physical composites are determined by the
[5] Anon, Spray Glazing mechanization ceramic 8
geological deposits or the sites where the raw materials
(91), 190, September (1956)
are formed.

References [6] Anon, Salvaging Glaze materials by an


electrostatic process. Cer Age 28, 143 (1936)
[1] Anon, Salt glaze of slip glaze Brick and clay
record HQ (3) September (1951) [7] N. Bars by, Salt glazing clay production journal
(Australia) 25 (1) 26, November (1959)
[2] Anon, Ceramic glaze point chywkr 59(706
288.796, February (1951)

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