China clay

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A commercial term for a soft, white kaolin-type clay. Although named China clay because of its use in chinaware, it primarily comes from England. China clay is also used as a cheap filler and extender in paints and pigments as well as an abrasive for polishing metals. See also Kaolin, and China stone.

Synonyms and Related Terms

kaolin; argil; potter's clay; Devonshire clay; pipe clay; white bole; caolin (Esp); kaolin (Fr.); China Clay (Deut.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Density 2.60 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.558; 1.565; 1.564


Properties of Common Abrasives (pdf)

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 427
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Jack Odgen, Jewellery of the Ancient World, Rizzoli International Publications Inc., New York City, 1982
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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