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Ball Clays

The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research has just issued, through H.M. Stationery Office, a volume of its special reports on the mineral resources of Great Britain. It deals with the geological relations, nature and uses, and mineral, chemical and physical properties of ball clays, that is to say, of those plastic "transported" clays which, when fired in an oxidising atmosphere to the temperature of certain pottery ovens approximately 1,150 deg.-1,200 deg. C.-have a white or nearly white colour. They are formed by the decomposition of felspathic rocks, by natural agencies. In this decomposition, silicates such as the felspars break down, and the products ultimately undergo hydration with the formation of the hydrated silicate of aluminium, kaolinite, and, in many cases, mixtures of hydrated oxides. Where these products are found resting in the parent rock, the clays are termed residual; where they have been transported and deposited elsewhere, they are known as transported clays. The china clays of Cornwall are typical examples of the former; the ball clays discussed in this memoir are characteristic examples of the latter. Dr. Alex Scott

Author(s): Scott, Alex

Keywords: ball clays;clays;geology