Clay is a medium that is found in many countries and locations, however not all of it is suitable for ceramic clay supplies. Clay for ceramics has to have a high plasticity so that it can be moulded into specific shapes and so the tiny particles will stick together throughout the firing process. Otherwise the item will be ruined by cracking or even shattering.
Certain areas do have the right kind of clay for ceramics and it can also be used for many other things. For instance, it can be added to certain building products to help them become less flammable. It can be used as a filler and binder for heat beads and it can also be used as a carrier dust for pesticides. Most people do not realise that clay has such a diversity of uses.es.
When the right location of this clay is found, it becomes a mining site as the clay has to be mined from the location, crushed to a specific size and bagged or packed for transport. Bulk loads are taken away for storage in silos at those places that use great quantities of it. Axedale is such a site where the right type of clay occurs naturally. This is called ball clay, as when it is dry and crushed it forms little balls.
The crushing process provides clay of 75 micron consistency suited to pottery clay and for making ceramics. It can also be used to add to certain types of crushed rock to make it more suitable for roadwork. In fact, it has been used in the construction of the Calder freeway as well as the Geelong and Pakenham by-passes.
It is also ideal for strawbale renderers clay. This innovative process provides a strong building material that has excellent thermal properties. Homes built from it have really thick walls that are also strong and keep the home really cool in hot climates without the need of any air conditioning.
In fact, clay has so many uses that most people do not even realise and we would be a lot poorer without this simple product that occurs naturally in some regions. It actually comes from weathered rock, but not all rocks provide the right kind of clay. Pure kaolin is likely to crack and split under pressure and has little plasticity. It has to be the secondary kaolin that is used as it is mixed with other substances that give in better plasticity.
For the past five years I have been writing informative and quality articles on topics such as ceramic clay supplies, pottery clay, strawbale renderers clay and many more.