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An Assessment Of The Suitability Of Ibeto Clay In Niger State For The Production Of Tableware

ABSTRACT

Lack of understanding of clay bodies hampers the art of pottery. This phenomenon is one of the problems militating against the growth of ceramic industry in Nigeria. The formulation of a clay body is a science which potters should pursue with vigour. The development of pottery depends on the understanding of the clay bodies needed in ceramic production. The discovery of Ibeto clay was a chanced discovery, coupled with the fact that Niger state is noted for pottery tradition that dates to many years. The need to study the physical content of Ibeto clay and to determine its suitability in tableware production has become necessary. In carrying out this research, the clay samples undergo chemical analysis which includes the use of X-Ray Fluorescence spectrphotmeter (XRF) and Bulk analysis by x-ray (Diffraction, XRD). Orient analysis was also carried out to determine whether the sample is a refractory material. The sample was also subjected to heat treatment to observe the behavioural pattern of the clay and also to determine refractory value. Other tests carried out were plasticity test, moisture content test, shrinkage test, and absorption test. Samples were made using the throwing wheel technique. The finished wares were both bisqued and glazed fired. The results of the study showed that Ibeto clay is a refractory clay and it does not swell. Two different glazes were formulated. The first glaze test consists of feldspar 40% quartz, 15% mixed wood ash 15% secondary clay 15% Ibeto Kaolin 15% and cobalt oxide or carbonate 0.2%. The result shows a translucent glaze enhanced by slip decoration. The second test consisted of Feldspar 40%, mixed wood ash 20%, secondary clay 16% and rice husk ash 24%. The result shows a milky bluish glaze it was also decorated with slip. During the firing in the gas kiln it was observed that at 6000C, the process of quartz inversion commenced. At 10000C vitrification process and melting of glaze commenced. There was no any casualty recorded while the firing lasted.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page ………………………………………………………………………………….. i
Declaration………………………………………………………………………………….. ii
Certification …………………………………………………………………………………iii
Dedication ………………………………………………………………………………….. iv
Acknowledgment ……………………………………………………………………………. v
Abbreviations ……………………………………………………………………………… vii
Signs and notations ……………………………………………………………………….. viii
Definition of operational terms ……………………………………………………………. ix
Chemical symbols …………………………………………………………………………. xii
Table of contents …………………………………………………………………………. xiii
List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………xvii
List of figures………………………………………………………………………..xviii
List of Plates…………………………………………………………………………..xix
List of Appendices……………………………………………………………………xx
Abstract …………………………………………………………………………………… xxi
CHAPTER ONE
1.0 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.2 Statement Of The Problem …………………………………………………………. 3
1.3 Aims And Objectives Of The Study ……………………………………………….. 4
1.4 Research Questions …………………………………………………………………. 4
1.5 Scope And Delimitation Of The Study ……………………………………………. 5
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1.6 Research Limitation ………………………………………………………………… 5
1.7 Significance Of The Study …………………………………………………………. 5
1.8 Justification For The Study ………………………………………………………… 6
CHAPTER TWO
2.0 Literature Review …………………………………………………………………… 7
2.1 Clay Raw Materials ……………………………………………………………………. 7
2.1.1 Origin Of Clay ……………………………………………………………………….. 7
2.1.2 Kaolin …………………………………………………………………………………. 8
2.1.3 Kaolin Sourcing ……………………………………………………………………. 10
2.1.4 Ball Clay ……………………………………………………………………………. 11
2.15 Kaolin Mining ………………………………………………………………….. 15
2.1.6 Processing Kaolin ………………………………………………………………. 17
2.1.7 Kaolin Deposits In Nigeria …………………………………………………….. 18
2.2 Refractory Materials …………………………………………………………………. 19
2.2.1 Classification Of Refractories …………………………………………………. 19
2.3 Throwing (The Potters Wheel) …………………………………………………… 22
2.4 Sieving And Drying ………………………………………………………………. 23
2.5 Glazing …………………………………………………………………………….. 24
2.6 Firing ………………………………………………………………………………. 25
CHAPTER THREE
3.0 Research Methodology …………………………………………………………… 26
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3.1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………….. 26
3.1.1 Experimental Procedure …………………………………………………………… 26
3.1.2 Data Collection …………………………………………………………………….. 26
3.13 Field Work…………………………………………………………………………… 27
3.2 Chemical Analysis Of Ibeto Clay ………………………………………………… 27
3.2.1 Bulk Analysis By X-Ray Diffraction (Xrd) Analysis ………………………… 28
3.2.2 Orient Analysis …………………………………………………………………. 29
3.2.3 Glycolation ……………………………………………………………………… 30
3.2.4 Heat Treatment …………………………………………………………………. 30
3.2.5 Analysis To Determine The Physical Content Of The Clay …………………. 31
3.2.6 Test For Shrinkage ……………………………………………………………… 32
3.2.7 Absorption/Porosity Rate ………………………………………………………….. 32
3.3 Preparation Of Ibeto Clay For Table Wares Production ………………………… 34
3.4 Throwing ………………………………………………………………………….. 35
3.4.1 Drying Of Finished Wares …………………………………………………………. 35
3.5 Firing Clay Bodies ………………………………………………………………… 35
3.5.1 Bisque Firing ……………………………………………………………………….. 36
3.6 Glazing …………………………………………………………………………….. 36
3.6.1 Slips Application On Wares Before Glaze Firing …………………………….. 37
CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 Result, Data Presentation And Analysis …………………………………………. 42
xvi
4.1 Sample Description 42
CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 Conclusion, Summary And Recommendation …………………………………… 59
5.1 Findings ……………………………………………………………………………. 59
5.2 Recommendation …………………………………………………………………. 61
References ………………………………………………………………………………… 62
Appendices …………………………………………………………………………..64
xvii
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Clay Body Temperatures ………………………………………………………. 25
Table 2: Chemical Analysis Of Ibeto Clay ……………………………………………… 28
Table 3: Recipe For Slip Application On Wares ……………………………………….. 38
Table 4: Physical Characteristics Of Ibeto Clay Compared With Other Clay Bodies In Nigeria ……………………………………………………………………………………..

Project Topics

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION
We depend heavily on ceramics products in our everyday life, whether they be delicate china tea cups, tableware, burnt bricks, tiles, glass or rough linings for high temperature industrial furnaces. It is astonishing when you consider that shapeless lumps can be made into some of the most exquisite objects in the world. This is where the art of the potter comes in, clay is the major raw material in ceramics production. How fortunate then, that clay, the essential raw material for ceramics production is so cheap and plentiful. Clay is found generally beneath the top soil, practically at most deposit sites in the world. There is a wide variety of different clays, but they all have to a greater or lesser extent, two basic properties that make them useful to us. Firstly, they become plastic when moist. This means that they can be shaped and moulded without falling apart. Secondly, they become extremely hard and strong when they are exposed to great heat. Gukas and Datiri, (2001) reported that clay is formed because of the decomposition of an igneous rock of some geologic hypogenic actions that result from the mixture of gases and vapour in the interior of the earth’s crust over a very long period which must be about some million years ago. Salmang, (1961) reported that, there are two views about the origin of clays, one preferred by geologist, the other by chemists. For the sake of this study, we shall concentrate on the former view held by geologists. Geologists believed that Kaolin is produced from feldspar under the influence of weathering or acidic water.
The Ceramist classified clay into two categories, i.e. primary clay and secondary clay. Because of the natural sedimentation, secondary clays are contaminated with
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organic substances, these impurities include iron oxide, limestone etc. (Cochrane, 1969). The presence of iron oxide gives the clay its reddish colour, Norton, (1974) reported that the word Kaolin came from Chinese word Kaoliang, which is a mountain in China, is applied to most white burning clays. He classified Kaolin into two types, the first is residual deposit derived from altered rock, often of the pegmatite type, with the Kaolin remaining in Situ among the rock fragments not decomposed. The second is a sedimentary type in which fire rock and clay particles have been washed out of the original deposit and laid down in lakes and lagoons with some alteration during transport and after settling. For almost two decades of my teaching career in a tertiary institution as a ceramic teacher, finding a new site of clay deposit that will be suitable for ceramic production is the underlying factor that motivates me to search within my locality for possible sites for clay exploration and the possibility of getting quality Kaolin for ceramics production.
Ibeto village is situated along Kontagora Yauri major highway. The town is located at some 30km South-West of Kontagora Emirate Council in Niger State Nigeria. Most of the inhabitants of the town are farmers with few traders. It is interesting to note that Ibeto clay, which derived its name from Ibeto village in Kontagora Emirate Council of Niger State, is a residual Kaolin deposit. In my personal interaction with Mallam Garba Ibeto a resident of Ibeto village, he told me that the clay was discovered accidentally, when the villagers were digging the ground to obtain clay for building their mud houses. Because of its whitish colour and its ability to dissolve in water easily, the people nicknamed it ―Farin Kasa‖ meaning white earth. It was mainly used by the villagers for both interior and exterior decorations in form of wall painting. This
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motivates me to go into research, to determine the suitability of Ibeto clay in the production of ceramic tableware. 1.1 Background Of The Study The discovery of a white substance suspected to be a kaolin in a village called Ibeto in Niger State motivates further investigation, to ascertain the suitability of this clay for the production of tableware. So far there is no any known published work on the properties of this clay deposit.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study is the assessment of Ibeto clay in Kontagora Local Government area of Nigeria State and determining its suitability as a material for the production of tableware. The following problem will be address:
i. Procurement and beneficiation of Ibeto clay samples from Ibeto village in Niger State.
ii. When subjected to XRF analysis, what will be the physical properties of the clay samples.
iii. What will be the result when the clay is tested for the mineralogical properties through XRD.
iv. When combined with other clay bodies can we obtain workable body?
v. Can we obtain a good result when it is used for tableware production.
vi. What will be the outcome when this clay is used with other components in glaze preparation.
vii. What will be the result when it is subjected to both bisque and glaze firing?
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1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to explore and characterize the physical and chemical properties of Ibeto clay and to use it to produce ceramic tableware. Specific objectives of this study are:
i. Determine the physical qualities and properties of Ibeto clay.
ii. Determine the chemical and mineralogical composition of Ibeto clay through XRF and XRD tests.
iii. To find out how Ibeto clay can be mixed with Minna ball clay into suitable homogenous clay.
iv. Achieve stone ware temperature of 12800C from the clay body when fired in a gas kiln.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated:
i. Will the clay found in Ibeto be suitable for production of ceramic table wares?
ii. When subjected to beneficiation, will the material be of standard quality for ceramic production?
iii. When subjected to chemical (XRF) analysis will the clay pass the physical property of acceptable ceramic body?
iv. Will the clay pass the mineralogical property test to be determined by XRD and XRF test?
v. Will the clay pass shrinkage test, plasticity test and refractory tests?
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vi. When combined with Minna ball clay, can we achieve a stone ware temperature of 12800C?
vii. What will be the outcome of the final result when the test is fired in a gas kiln?
1.5 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this study will cover the physical characterization and utilization of Ibeto clay, its chemical and mineralogical properties, its suitability in the production of table wares will be tested when combined with other clay minerals. The method of production that will be employed is the throwing technique using a manual throwing wheel. While finished work will be fired in a gas kiln to obtain a result.
1.6 Research Limitation
The followings are limitations that confront this study:
i. Inadequate modern facilities for digging and transportation at the site of clay deposit constitute limitation.
ii. Lack of modern laboratory and facilities for processing and treatment of raw materials also constitute limitation.
iii. Kilns for firing the samples to required temperature are not available, hence the need to construct a gas kiln.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This research will contribute to the database of clay raw materials in Niger State. The state is noted for pottery tradition which dated back to more than 50 years with notable pottery centers such as Ladi Kwali pottery Centre, Al-habeeb pottery Centre and some
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tertiary and secondary schools where Fine Arts is taught. The discovery of a new clay deposit will facilitate entrepreneurial development and promote local industries.
1.8 Justification for the Study
Many local industries are suffering due to lack of raw materials, and couple with the fact that Nigerian markets are flooded with cheap China products. How can this trend be arrested. The solution is to intensify effort in discovering sources of local raw materials for ceramic production. Yakubu (2009), opined that there is currently a high demand for industrial raw material in Nigeria to support the growing sector of the economy such as in the iron and steel, glass and cement industries. The discovery of a new source of raw material will enhance the drive for industrialization. The Quest to assess a suitable source of raw material for the promotion of teaching ceramic in any institution justify this study. The completion of this work will encourage and promote the development of local ceramic industries in Niger state.

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