Lignite contamination in manufactured porcelain bodies

Thursday 5th March 2015

These particles contaminating particles are exposed on the rim of a bisque fired mug. The liqnite ones have burned away but the iron particle is still there (and will produce a speck in the glaze). Remnants of the lignite remain inside the matrix and can pinhole glazes. Since ball clays are air floated (a stream of air takes away the lighter particles and the heavier ones recycle for regrinding) it seems that contamination like this would be impossible. But the equipment requires vigilance for correct operation, especially when there is pressure to maximize production. Ores in Tennessee are higher in coal than those in Kentucky. North American clay body manufacturers who confront ball clay suppliers with this contamination find that ceramic applications have become a very small part of the total ball clay market, complaints are not taken with the same seriousness as in the past.

Pages that reference this post in the Digitalfire Reference Database:

Ball Clay, Pinholing, Bisque, bisquit firing, Carbon Burnout, Ceramic Materials Overview

This post is one of thousands found in the Digitalfire Reference Database. Most are part of a timeline maintained by Tony Hansen. You can search that timeline on the home page of