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Ball Clay

BALL CLAY For excellent plasticity and workability in ceramics

Imerys mines and processes ball clays with a range of different properties. By blending selected clays from different locations, Imerys can provide high quality products for a range of ceramic applications. 

Ball clay, or ‘plastic clay’ as it is also known, is an extremely rare mineral, only found at a handful of locations around the world.  It is a kaolinitic clay that commonly consists of 20–80% kaolinite, 10–25% mica, 6–65% quartz as well as organic matter.

Ball clay is formed from the weathering and transportation by water of parent rocks which are deposited in ancient river basins from where it is extracted. 

Key Properties

Imerys ball clays for ceramics are characterized by their:

  • High plasticity
  • High unfired strength
  • Highly controlled rheological properties
  • Controlled organic content
  • Controlled residue
  • Excellent workability


Ball clays are prized for the production of traditional ceramics such as sanitaryware, tableware, wall and floor tiles as well as for technical ceramics and electrical porcelains.

  • Combined with kaolin, ball clays provide the cohesion and workability necessary for the creation of ceramic parts such as sanitaryware. 
  • Used with kaolin, feldspar and quartz in tableware and whiteware, ball clay confers high plasticity and a good white-fired color to the end product. 
  • In wall and floor tiles, ball clays are prized for their plasticity and bonding properties. 
  • In glazes and engobes they ensure a perfect finish. 

Worldwide resources

Imerys mines and processes ball clay in England, France, Thailand and the United States. 
We also make use of blending platforms in India and Egypt to ensure that we produce ball clays that address the specific technical challenges of each region.


All Technical Data Sheets and Brochures are available from our secured Download Center.


We have major ceramics technology centers in Europe, the Americas and Asia offering a full range of technical and process support services to help you match the right solution to your application requirement.

And with Industrial facilities and blending platforms in Asia, Europe, Middle-East and the Americas, we have the resources to serve our customers anywhere in the world.

Please contact us, we will be only too happy to help

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