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Testing a New Load of EP Kaolin

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The kaolin arrives on a semi of 880 bags. First step: Record the date code.

A shipment EP Kaolin has arrived for use in production of porcelain and stoneware bodies. Of course, this needs to be tested before being put into product. But how? The first step is to create a new recipe record in my Insight-Live account, and find their production date code stamp on the bag. Hmmm. It does not have one! OK, then I need to record the date on which we received it. We need to save a bag on every pallet and sieve 50 grams through 100 mesh (to spot contamination). Then we'll make test bars (of all the samples mixed) to fire across a range of temperatures (to compare fired maturity with past shipments). We do a drying performance disk also, it also shows soluble salts.

50 grams of EPK powder ready for sieve analysis washing process.

Pouring the EPK powder into water to make a slurry

Washing EPK powder through a 200 mesh screen. The oversize will be washed through a series of coarser screen to see the amount on each.

Washing EPK through screens in particle size test.

Washing material through screens (while testing EPK particle size).

Screens drying after washing EPK powder through.

Weighing oversize on screen during EPK particle size test.

Slurrying EPK to prepare for dewatering.

EP Kaolin test bars being removed from the drier

EPK slurry has been poured onto plaster batt for dewatering.

EPK slurry has been dewatered on the plaster, ready for removal and kneading.

Plastic EPK slab ready for cutting into test bars.

EPK test bars and drying disk have been made from the plastic material.

Pure EP Kaolin thrown on the potters wheel

Measuring the length of a test for the SHAB test procedure

A 10cm mark is made in the plastic bar during preparation. Talc powder is put on the marker so it pulls cleanly away from the clay leaving a crisp mark. These bars are made from the same clay and will be fired at multiple temperatures. Each one needs to be measured.

By Tony Hansen


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