7.3. Comparison between clay minerals and the alternative raw materials

The great majority of natural raw materials for the ceramic industry mainly contain clay minerals, quartz, feldspar, carbonates and iron. This composition is responsible for the distinctive roles that materials play during ceramic processing, as previously described in Section 7.2.2, and it is also responsible for the final properties of the ceramic products. In addition, ceramic materials also contain minor amounts of components such as iron oxides that, given the long firing cycles used, might act also as fluxing agents during the firing process affecting the ceramic process (Segadães, 2006).
Taking into account the major components (expressed as oxides) and their roles during ...

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