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Open AccessArticle

Composition and Technological Properties of Clays for Structural Ceramics in Limpopo (South Africa)

Department of Mining and Environmental Geology, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, Limpopo Province, South Africa
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Minerals 2020, 10(8), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080700
Received: 9 June 2020 / Revised: 29 June 2020 / Accepted: 2 July 2020 / Published: 7 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
This study evaluated the potential of raw clays from the Mukondeni region for structural ceramics and pottery based on traditional firing techniques. Physical properties were identified by particle size distribution, consistency limits, and clay activity. Mineralogical and chemical properties were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Extruded clay bodies were fired at 900 °C. Technological characteristics were measured by weight loss (WL), bulk density (BD), dry linear shrinkage (DLS), fired linear shrinkage (FLS), water absorption (WA), and flexural strength (FS). The clays were low in <2 µm fractions (≤19%) and of medium to high plasticity with a clayey silt texture. Smectite was the dominant clay mineral while quartz and feldspar were major non clay minerals. The most abundant oxides were SiO2 (63.57–68.73%), Al2O3 (13.9–15.61%), and Fe2O3 (4.86–6.18%), whereas K2O, CaO, MgO, Na2O, TiO2, and P2O5 were depleted. Characterization based on the clay workability chart, Winkler’s diagram, and compositional ternary diagrams revealed acceptable extrusion properties and suitability for structural ceramics and earthenware. The clays showed acceptable WL, BD, LS, and WA, but unsatisfactory FS (≤1.08 MPa). Low mechanical strength was attributed to presence of smectites and inert nature of feldspar at 900 °C. Beneficiation through mixing with carbonate-rich raw materials is recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural ceramics; pottery; low firing temperature; fluxing agents; South Africa structural ceramics; pottery; low firing temperature; fluxing agents; South Africa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Diko-Makia, L.; Ligege, R. Composition and Technological Properties of Clays for Structural Ceramics in Limpopo (South Africa). Minerals 2020, 10, 700. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080700

AMA Style

Diko-Makia L, Ligege R. Composition and Technological Properties of Clays for Structural Ceramics in Limpopo (South Africa). Minerals. 2020; 10(8):700. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080700

Chicago/Turabian Style

Diko-Makia, Lawrence; Ligege, Rofhiwa. 2020. "Composition and Technological Properties of Clays for Structural Ceramics in Limpopo (South Africa)" Minerals 10, no. 8: 700. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080700

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