Ball clays are kaolinitic sedimentary clays, that commonly consist of 20-80% kaolinite, 10-25% mica, 6-65% quartz. Localized seams in the same deposit have variations in composition, including the quantity of the major minerals, accessory minerals and carbonaceous materials such as lignite. They are fine-grained and plastic in nature, and, unlike most earthenware clays, produce a fine quality white-coloured pottery body when fired, which is the key to their popularity with potters.
A ‘ceramic body’ for sanitaryware typically includes 30% ball clay to provide plasticity and workability, 20% kaolin, 30% feldspar and 20% quartz/silica.Tableware
Ceramic tableware utilizes ball clay to provide high plasticity and a good white-fired color, combined with kaolin, feldspar and quartz.Wall and floor tiles
Combined with talc, feldspar, quartz/silica and kaolin, ball clays are utilized for their plasticity and bonding properties.Glazes and engobes
Ball clays are also used in the production of coatings for ceramic products to ensure the perfect finish.
An ability to resist the effects of extremely high temperatures makes ball clay ideal for use in refractory products such as kiln insulation and furniture.Construction ceramics
Building materials such as bricks, clay pipes and roof tiles all contain ball clay.Electrical porcelain insulators
You will find ball clays in the electrical porcelain components that provide insulation from high voltage currents.Non-ceramic applications
These include the construction industry; horticulture, agriculture and amenity industries; use as fillers and extenders in polymers, adhesives, plastics, sealants, fertilizers and insecticides.