Vol. 2, Issue 8 (2015)
Characterization of Nkalagu Obukpa Clay Deposits for Industrial Uses
Author(s): Agbo A. O, Idenyi N. E, Mbah C. M
Abstract: Characterization of Nkalagu Obukpa clay deposit has been successfully investigated. The chemical analysis was carried out using Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) and ultra-violet visible Range spectroscopy (Uv-vis). Particle size analysis and other physical properties tests such as bulk density, water absorptions, moisture content, plasticity, apparent porosity, shrinkage, modulus of rupture, cold crushing strength, thermal shock resistance and refractoriness were carried out using international accepted standard techniques. The result of the chemical analysis shows that the clay has alumina Al2O3 (24.63%), calcium oxide CaO (1.15%), silica SiO2 (50.21%), Iron oxide Fe2O3 (1.03%), sodium oxide Na2O (2.11%), potassium oxide K2O (2.03%), magnesium oxide MgO (2.32%), manganese oxide MnO (0.31%), Titanium oxide TiO2 (0.9) and oxide of P, Ni as trace. The results of the physical properties tests conducted at firing temperatures of 9000C, 10000C, 11000C and 12000C respectively indicated as follows; bulk density (1.670g/cm3),water absorption (674%),moisture content (4.20%), plasticity (3.20), apparent porosity (33.08%), shrinkage (7.44%) and thermal shock resistance (28cycles), at 12000C with an estimated refractoriness of (1647.540C). The clay deposit therefore can be used for the production of refractory bricks for lining of furnaces for ferrous and non-ferrous metals, low melting point alloys, re-heating furnaces, kilns and other foundry heating equipment that require medium duty refractory bricks. As a result of its low iron oxide and Titania contents, the deposit has whitish colour and can be used by paint, ceramics, and chalk industries.