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A1 Ball Clay

PR#3 A1, Pyritic bentonitic ball clay

Oxide Weight475.55
Formula Weight550.41
If this formula is not unified correctly please contact us.

A1 is mined by Plainsman Clays in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. It is at the top of the whitemud formation just under the Battle formation. It is the dirtiest clay they use (highest in iron stone concretions and soluble iron salts).

A1 is a heavily stained bentonitic ball clay with pyrite particles. This material is useful in high temperature reduction brown or red burning clay bodies to impart plasticitY, iron speckle and variations in fired surface character. It is normally not used in quantities above 10%.

Ravenscrag Saskatchewan clays fired at cone 10R

Ravenscrag Saskatchewan clays fired at cone 10R

Glazeless (top) and with glaze (bottom): A1 (bentonitic), A2 (ball clay), A3 (stoneware), 3B (porcelains), 3C (lignitic ball clay), 3D (silt). The bottom row has also shows soluble salts (SOLU test).

Mel Noble at Plainsman Clay's Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan quarry

Mel Noble at Plainsman Clay's Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan quarry

Plainsman extracts 6 different sedimentary clays from this quarry (Mel knows where the layers separate). The dried test bars on the right show them (top to bottom). The range of properties exhibited is astounding. The top-most layer is the most plastic and has the most iron concretion particles (used in our most speckled reduction bodies). The bottom one is the least plastic and most silty (the base for Ravenscrag Slip). The middle two are complete buff stonewares made by mother nature (e.g. M340 and H550). A2, the second one down, is a ball clay (similar to commercial products like OM#4, Bell). A2 is refractory and the base for Plainsman Fireclay. The second from the bottom fires the whitest and is the most refractory (it is the base for H441G).

Mining the Battle Formation in our quarry at Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan - June 2018

Mining the Battle Formation in our quarry at Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan - June 2018

This is the top layer. Battle clay is highly bentonitic, it is the "super hero of plasticity" in the quarry, it is unbelievably sticky. We have considered it "over-burden" in the past, but now will be looking for ways to employ Battle clay in our products and seeking special-purpose markets for it. Only 10% of this can turn a silt into a plastic throwing body! It is also high in fluxes (melts by cone 6). That means we can use it to improve the fired maturity of bodies, reducing the need for talc. Removal of this layer has exposed the top of the White-Mud Formation, the "A1" layer. A1 is employed in high fire bodies to impart brown color and fired speckle.

Plainsman A1 firing test bars

Plainsman A1 firing test bars

Cone 10 reduction (top), 11 down to 9 oxidation below. The dark color is partly from iron bearing soluble salts that are left on the surface after drying.

Out Bound Links

In Bound Links

By Tony Hansen

XML for Import into INSIGHT

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <material name="A1 Ball Clay" descrip="PR#3 A1, Pyritic bentonitic ball clay" searchkey="" loi="0.00" casnumber="70694-09-6"> <oxides> <oxide symbol="CaO" name="Calcium Oxide, Calcia" status="" percent="0.730" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="MgO" name="Magnesium Oxide, Magnesia" status="" percent="0.880" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="K2O" name="Potassium Oxide" status="" percent="0.700" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="Na2O" name="Sodium Oxide, Soda" status="" percent="0.050" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="P2O5" name="Phosphorus Pentoxide" status="" percent="0.400" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="TiO2" name="Titanium Dioxide, Titania" status="" percent="0.800" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="Al2O3" name="Aluminum Oxide, Alumina" status="" percent="18.300" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="SiO2" name="Silicon Dioxide, Silica" status="" percent="59.300" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="Fe2O3" name="Iron Oxide, Ferric Oxide" status="" percent="4.070" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="MnO" name="Manganous Oxide" status="" percent="0.090" tolerance=""/> </oxides> <volatiles> <volatile symbol="LOI" name="Loss on Ignition" percent="13.600" tolerance=""/> </volatiles> </material>

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