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The term ‘ball’ traces to historic mining in England where large chunks of the clay were cut from the bank in ball shapes for transport to processing. There are hundreds of different ball clays available and they vary widely in plasticity, particle size, color, firing properties. A typical ball clay powder is light grey (from lignite) or cream color and fires to a buff or cream white color with some soluble salt deposits on the fired surface. They are typically unvitrified at cone 10. Ball clays are very plastic and much finer grained than kaolins. Ball clay is the main plastic material used in clay bodies of all types. It is much more plastic than kaolin but also has much higher dry shrinkage and higher iron content. Ball clay is a fine particled clay that is universally used in glazes for suspension. If 15-20% is present no other suspender should be needed. CaO 0.04, MgO 0.22, K2O 0.52, Na2O 0.08, TiO2 1.70, Al2O3 26.40, SiO2 60.00, Fe2O3 1.06. Source: Digital Fire.


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