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Clay - What is clay?
Qu'est-ce que l'Argile

What is Clay?

Clay is formed as a result of the hydration of feldspar* produced by granitic rock.

It is a sedimentary rock notably made up of hydrated aluminium silicate.

*Feldspar are the largest group of minerals in the Earth’s crust.

Differents types of Clay

There are several types of clay :



Rare clays (those that have formed without being moved) which includes the following:


o Smectits
o Bentonites
o Montmorillonite
o Halloysitis



These clays have ADsorbent or ABsorbent properties (depending on the type).

Clay is a material endowed with nature’s intelligence and one that is therefore conducive to like, binding anything that is contrary to life by means of ADsorption and providing elements that are conducive to it by means of an ion exchange phenomenon (Smectits and Bentonites) or by ABsorption, whereby it acts like a sponge (Illites).

And other clays:

o Kaolin : white clay from Kao Ling in China
o Illite : the most common clay, also known as ‘pottery clay’.

The colours of Clay

Chlorite can colour the clay green. All metals, notably including iron but also manganese, magnesium and copper, among others, can colour clay:


Fe+ = yellow clay
Fe++ = red clay
Fe – = green clay



Yellow and red clays respectively are the result of increasingly active exposure to the air (Fe+, Fe++), whilst green-coloured clay owes its colouring to the fact that it is sheltered from airas it forms (Fe-).



Colour is also not synonymous with efficiency. Montmorillonite, which is a very active clay, for example, can be yellow, pink, green, etc.


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