Go Back The Occurrence and Distribution of Primary and Secondary Raw Materials of Ceramics Industry in Nigeria
Clays are the primary raw materials in the ceramics industry. The main clay minerals are kaolinite, montmorillonite (smectite), and illite. All the three minerals usually occur in varying proportions in various type of clays. Each of these minerals plays a part in the firing behaviour of clay. The thermal decomposition of clays is critical in the firing process. This involves reactions in which the clay minerals breakdown, sinter and fuse to bind other secondary constituents or additives. The type and quantity of additives depend on the ceramic products desired. Some of these additives are feldspars, quartz, iron oxides, quartz-sand, alumina and bone ash; in some cases limestone (chalk) and dolomite may be added as fillers. Porcelain, for instance is a ceramic product, made from kaolin and pentuntse. The occurrence and distribution of primary and secondary raw materials of ceramics industry in Nigeria, strictly depends on the geology and rock units. The summary of the geology of raw materials found in Nigeria are presented. The suitability of a mineral deposit to provide the raw material base for any industry are that the deposit must be of good quality and in large quantity to be commercially viable; and such industries should be closely located to the mineral deposit.