What are the Clay products and refractories in construction- civillearners
Clay products Definition –
Clay occurs plenty in nature. Clay is a distinct product of chemical weathering of igneous rocks. Feldspar is predominant in igneous rocks. One of the varieties of felspar is orthoclase felspar. It is whitish, greyish or pinkish in color. Rocks disintegrate easily if orthoclase feldspar is in abundance in their structure. Thus, orthoclase feldspar is mainly responsible for the production of clays in nature. This mineral, on decomposition, gives kaolinite which is free from iron oxide and alkalis. The term kaolin is used to indicate the product having the composition of pure kaolinite.
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In kaolin, alumina and silica compounds arc held in a colloidal state and these compounds form the basic constituents of all clays. In addition to these compounds, various other materials such as silicates of calcium and magnesium, iron oxide, free sand, sodium, manganese, chromium, etc. also occur in clays in small proportions.
Clay, when produces with water wet, possesses a high degree of plasticity and tenacity. Such plastic clay can be molded in desired shapes. It is then dried and burnt.
Clay contains water in two forms, namely, (i) free water and (ii) combined water.
(i) Free water: Free water is removed during drying. To remove chemically combined water, clay is heated to a high temperature. At this stage, chemical changes occur among the constituents of clay and new products are formed which are hard and compact. Beyond a certain limit of temperature,
clay becomes soft and products lose their shapes. This limit of tenpcraturc will depend on the quality of clay.
Clay products are employed in the building industry are tiles, terra-cotta, earthenwares, stonewares, porcelain, and bricks.
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