Ceramic properties of Pugu kaolin clays. Part I: Porosity and modulus of rupture
The utilisation of Pugu kaolin clay as a raw material in porcelain has been tested by laboratory scale experiments. Physical characteristics of the clay have shown it to be of satisfactory quality and comparable to commercial clays found elsewhere. The chemical analysis has indicated the presence of high levels of iron oxide (~ 1.43%) which could adversely affect the translucency of whitewares. The “as mined” material could be suitable for ceramics that do not require high brightness specifications, such as stoneware and sanitary ware. The level of this oxide can, however, be reduced by appropriate means to give a relatively cleaner product that could be excellent for other types of whiteware products.
Porcelain materials prepared using Pugu kaolin clay have shown to have similar properties as those prepared using other standard kaolin clays. The bulk density and flexural strength of the fired masses increase with firing temperature to a maximum at the soak temperature of 1200 oC. Beyond this soak temperature the flexural strength decreases. The decrease in strength is attributable to bloating which takes place as gasses are expelled from the matrix. Strictly firing procedures should be enforced in order to obtain a porcelain material of required strength.
KEY WORDS: Kaolin clay, Ceramic properties, Porcelain materials, Bulk density, Sintering, Modulus of rupture, Bloating
Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2003, 17(2), 147-154.