EurGeol Dr. rer. nat. Lutz Krakow and Dipl.-Geol. Franziska Schunke

Current clay potential in Germany – Part 1: General introduction

In recent years, the situation in the German clay brick and roofing tile industry has changed radically. Many companies have disappeared from the market for ever and with them their deposits have gone too. The mounting pressure to come up with innovations and cut costs is reflected in modified potential for the utilization of the raw material base. Restrictions on extraction are presenting brickworks with existential challenges. Good raw material is not only the starting point for high-quality products, it also plays a part in deciding the ultimate fate of the brick plants. In this new series, the clay potential of the German clay brick and roofing tile industry is presented. Over 500 raw material locations are classified in respect of the geological properties of their raw materials.

1 Current status in research

The clay potential in Germany is largely recorded in geological maps, although these do not generally contain details of the specific suitability of the clay raw materials. Under the term “clay potential” not only the different types of brick clays are subsumed, speciality clays as well as oil shale and lime marl for the cement industry are covered. Advances in age dating methods allow increasingly precise stratigraphic classification of the individual raw material deposits [1].

For the spatial analysis of clay deposits, the map of the near-surface raw materials 1:...

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