Ball clays (also referred to as plastic clays) are fine-grained, highly plastic sedimentary clays, derived from kaolinite typically moved from decomposed feldspar present in igneous source rocks, such as granite. High quality ball clays are relatively scarce, and valued for their key properties of plasticity, rheology, unfired strength and light fired colour.
As well as kaolinite, ball clays typically contain other ‘contaminants’ that provide its unique characteristics. Layered mineral contaminants provide strength, whereas carbon contaminants can provide favorable rheological properties, well suited for sanitaryware production.
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