Definition - What does Kaolinite mean?

Kaolinite is an industrial clay mineral which has a single layer of tetrahedral silica bounded with oxygen atoms and octahedral alumina. It is a soft, layered silicate mineral which is usually white in color. It has the chemical formula AI2Si2O5(OH)4. It is produced as a result of the chemical weathering of aluminium silicate minerals. The rocks from which kaolinite mineral is extracted are called china clay or kaolin.

Petropedia explains Kaolinite

Kaolinite is produced by the weathering action on feldspar and mica mineral groups. When clay comes in contact with water, it swells and shrinks. This type of clay does not hold good for kaolinite clay as kaolinite clay has no effect of swelling and shrinking when it comes in contact with water. Along with low shrink and swell capacity, this clay mineral also has low cation exchange capacity (1 – 15 meg/100 grams).

Kaolinite mineral is used in many industrial applications such as:

  • Adhesives to modify rheology
  • Ceramics production
  • Incandescent light bulbs manufacture
  • Manufacturing of paints and coatings
  • Manufacturing of cosmetics, etc.
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