Published Online: 15 DEC 2006
Copyright © 2002 by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry
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Murray, H. H. 2006. Clays. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. .
- Published Online: 15 DEC 2006
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Clays are important industrial minerals that are utilized around the world. The clay minerals and materials discussed here are kaolins, smectites, palygorskite and sepiolite, and miscellaneous or common clays. Kaolin is both a rock term and a group minerals name for kaolinite, dickite, nacrite, and halloysite. Bentonite is a rock term and the dominant minerals in bentonite are smectites, which is a group mineral name. Important minerals in the smectite group are sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and lithium montmorillonites. Miscellaneous or common clays include shales, mudstones, soil clays, lacustrine clays, glacial tills, and so on, which are used for making brick, tile, other structural clay products, and stoneware pottery. They are usually comprised of a mixture of clay and nonclay minerals, the most common of which are illite, chlorite, mixed-layer clays, and quartz. The geology and location of clay deposits that are marketed regionally and worldwide are described. Structure, composition, and chemical and physical properties of the clay minerals are discussed. These control the many industrial applications of clay minerals and materials. Important applications are described. World production figures of the various clays are given as of 2004. A brief discussion on health-related and environmental issues is included.