The mystery of clay – Part 1: From the clay pit to

the microcosm

Clay minerals are regarded on account of, amongst other things, their high reactivity to changes in their milieu as some of the most peculiar phenomena of our inorganic world. This is related to the lack of clear structures, the absence of relatively large, crystal-chemically homogeneous areas and their fine-grained structure. From this comes their constant readiness to change, up to transformation.

The systematic analysis of the structures starts with the macroscopic level on surface exposure. Then increasingly differentiated methods are used to look at the microscopic, molecular and ultimately the elementary level. The fundamental blueprint is correlated with the function. Phenomena such as innercrystalline swelling, delamination, thixotropy and cation exchange capacity are explained. Basis is the duality of planar microparticles and electrical charges within the clay mineral-water-electrolyte system.

EurGeol Dr. rer. nat. Lutz Krakow, Dr. Krakow Rohstoffe GmbH


Related articles:

Issue 7-8/2012

Optimization of the strength properties of clay masonry bricks

1 Introduction and objective The shear loading capacity of stiffening masonry walls is playing an increasingly important role in the realization of construction projects. Current developments,...

Issue 02/2010 Raw Material Highlights for the Clay Brick and Tile Industry

Clay as a raw material – geological code determines its firing behaviour (part 1)

1 Introduction In this paper the wide range of the forming processes is abstracted in order to indicate relationships between geological formation and technical properties. With reference to selected...

Issue 04/2012

Resource efficiency in the clay brick and tile industry Part II: Recycled clay from the washing of variegated sandstone

1 Geological frame and location At Untschen Gravel Works near Gera, Germany, severely weathered clayey and pebbly sandstone is extracted and pro­cessed to road construction materials. In the...

Issue 05/2012

Ceramitec and Heavy Clay Day

Dear Readers, we are delighted to welcome you to this year’s Ceramitec. This year we want you to join us and put your foot down to really get things speeding along! We challenge you to a thrilling...

Issue 03/2014 Q3 2013 European Architectural Barometer report

Clay bricks regarded as some of the most sustainable façade products

Clay bricks have a very convincing image as the most sustainable façade product. Wood is seen as the most sustainable product in Great Britain, but the same material has a contradictory image in...