Potentiality of Clay Raw Materials from Northern Morocco in Ceramic Industry: Tetouan and Meknes Areas


This study aims at evaluating the potential suitability of Tetouan and Meknes (central Morocco) clay material as raw materials in various ceramic applications by investigating their textural, chemical, thermal and firing characteristics. Textural properties were identified by specific surface area, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and bulk density (ρs). Chemical and thermal properties were assessed using XRF and TG/DTA techniques, respectively. Firing characteristics at temperatures from 800℃ to 1100℃ were determined by linear firing shrinkage, loss on weight and water absorption capacity. The Meknes clays are characterised by medium cation exchange capacity (CEC) and specific surface area (SSA) values due to their moderate smectite content. The Tetouan clays have medium to low CEC and medium SSA values. The main oxides in the clayey samples are SiO2 (35 - 54.3 wt%), Al2O3 (20.6 - 43.9 wt%), and Fe2O3 (9.7 - 22.4 wt%). The amount of CaO in Meknes clays ranges from 8 to 12 wt%, whereas CaO is only present in some Tetouan clay (TE4, TE7, TN4 and TN5). A significant densification of ceramic behaviour could be noticed for most of Tetouan clays at firing temperatures above 1000℃. Meknes clays show earlier densification from 800℃. The chemical, textural and ceramic properties of Tetouan and Meknes clays indicate their suitability as raw materials for the production of structural ceramics. The high amount of Fe2O3 in all clays makes them inappropriate in fine ceramics.

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El Ouahabi, M. , Daoudi, L. , De Vleeschouwer, F. , Bindler, R. and Fagel, N. (2014) Potentiality of Clay Raw Materials from Northern Morocco in Ceramic Industry: Tetouan and Meknes Areas. Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 2, 145-159. doi: 10.4236/jmmce.2014.23019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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