Chemical and physical characterization of clay bodies

  • Debbie M. Kavanagh

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Suitable methods for the assessment of the effect of freeze-thaw action upon ceramic tiles have been determined. The results obtained have been shown to be reproducible with some work in this area still warranted. The analysis of Whichford Potteries clays via a variety of analytical techniques has shown them to be a complex mix of both clay and non-clay minerals. 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy has highlighted the presence of both small and large particleα-Fe203, removable via acid washing.
19F MAS NMR has demonstrated that the raw Whichford Pottery clays examined have negligible fluorine content. This is unlikely to be detrimental to ceramic wares during the heating process. A unique technique was used for the identification of fluorine in solid-state systems.
The exchange of various cations into Wyoming Bentonite clay by microwave methodology did not show the appearance of five co-ordinate aluminium when examined by 27Al MAS NMR. The appearance of Qo silicate was linked to an increase in the amount of tetrahedrally bound aluminium in the silicate framework. This is formed as a result of the heating process.
The analysis of two Chinese clays and two Chinese clay raw materials has highlighted a possible link between the two. These have also been shown to be a mix of both clay and non-clay minerals.
Layered double hydroxides formed by conventional and microwave methods exhibited interesting characteristics. The main differences between the samples examined were not found to be solely attributable to the differences between microwave and conventional methods but more attributable to different experimental conditions used.

Date of AwardNov 2001
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWilliam R. McWhinnie (Supervisor)


  • freeze-thaw
  • microwave methodology
  • cation exchange
  • five co-ordinate aluminium
  • Wyoming Bentonite

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