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No. 5 Ball Clay

White burning, low carbon for plastic bodies

Alternate Names: OH #5, OH#5, Old Hickory #5 Ball Clay

Oxide Weight324.60
Formula Weight357.89
If this formula is not unified correctly please contact us.

A popular secondary clay used in both clay and glazes. This ball clay is the base for a number of very popular premixed plastic porcelain and whiteware bodies in USA. It is fires to a light grey color with about 13% shrinkage at cone 10. Many potters claim that this is the whitest firing ball clay available in North America. In the powder form it looks much more like a light beige kaolin than a grey ball clay. This ball clay works very well as a glaze suspender and hardener in amounts around 15% (if too much more is used it gels the slurry).

The manufacturer calls it a unique grade that is virtually carbon free and contains a high amount of kaolinite (Al2O3) content. It has excellent fired brightness along with good plasticity. It can be employed at typical ball clay percentages depending on the type formula. Formulas that are more demanding for dry and fired strength values may benefit from some M23 ball clay. The plasticity and strength values of this grade could also be improved by an addition of some sodium bentonite in small percentages to serve as an auxiliary plasticizer.

Crude Color: White
Dry M.O.R. (psi 50% clay/50% flint, cast bars): 305
Wet Sieve Residue, +200 mesh (%): 0.22
Water of Plasticity (%): 33
Linear Dry Shrinkage (%): 6.5
Solubles Sulfates (ppm): 115
Filtration (ml): 26
Specific Surface Area (sq meters per gram): 18.9
CEC/MBI (meq/100 ml): 9.5
pH: 6.0
PCE: 32

Firing Shrinkage (%)
Cone 04: 4.5
Cone 3: 6.6
Cone 11: 7.5

Absorption (%)
Cone 04: 15.8
Cone 3: 12.7
Cone 11: 5.0

Particle Size (% finer than):
50 microns: 99
20: 98
10: 94
5: 86
1: 62
0.5: 52

Median Particle Diameter (micron): 0.46

The ball clay you use to suspend your glaze is important!

The ball clay you use to suspend your glaze is important!

I poured 4 teaspoons of two glazes onto a board and let them sit for a minute, then inclined the board. The one with Gleason Ball clay (right, much higher in coal and finer particle size) has settled and the water on the top of running off. The one with Old Hickory #5 ball clay has not settled at all and the whole thing is running downward. Below I have begun to sponge them off. Old Hickory No. 1 Glaze Clay is even better than #5 for suspension. The most amazing thing about this: There is only 7% ball clay in the recipe.

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In Bound Links

By Tony Hansen

XML for Import into INSIGHT

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <material name="No. 5 Ball Clay" descrip="White burning, low carbon for plastic bodies" searchkey="OH #5, OH#5, Old Hickory #5 Ball Clay" loi="0.00" casnumber="70694-09-6"> <oxides> <oxide symbol="CaO" name="Calcium Oxide, Calcia" status="" percent="0.060" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="MgO" name="Magnesium Oxide, Magnesia" status="" percent="0.180" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="K2O" name="Potassium Oxide" status="" percent="0.800" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="Na2O" name="Sodium Oxide, Soda" status="" percent="0.090" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="TiO2" name="Titanium Dioxide, Titania" status="" percent="1.260" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="Al2O3" name="Aluminum Oxide, Alumina" status="" percent="28.400" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="SiO2" name="Silicon Dioxide, Silica" status="" percent="58.800" tolerance=""/> <oxide symbol="Fe2O3" name="Iron Oxide, Ferric Oxide" status="" percent="0.790" tolerance=""/> </oxides> <volatiles> <volatile symbol="LOI" name="Loss on Ignition" percent="9.300" tolerance=""/> </volatiles> </material>

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