Using a clay conditioner can help in different ways depending on what stage of the production process you use it in, what type of clay you have or even the type of clay conditioner itself.
For example, in the mixing stage, the clay materials with water the clay conditioner acts as a wetting agent reducing surface tensions and promoting more homogeneous mixing. This will help to reduce the amount of water you use on your manufacturing process and improve the workability of the clay.
In shaping, the water soluble clay conditioner promotes better flow of particles when a force is applied, reducing friction between clay and extruder/press. This will extend the life of your equipment and it will increase the throughput.
As water begins to leave the finished article, the clay conditioner increases bond strength within the clay mix giving a faster rate of strength gain. This increased strength will reduce the losses due to breakage during extrusion and when handling the final pieces.
During drying the clay conditioner increases the breaking strength of the clay mix hardening edges and other vulnerable points of the article. This reduces the risk of cracks and breakage. Also, clay additives will optimise your production during this stage as they will promote faster and safer drying.
Using clay additives will affect the process at all stages, making it easier to work with the clay, extrude at a higher rate and dry in a quicker and more secure way. We have written about tips and tricks to optimise your process at all stages, but if you have any specific question for us, we will be glad to answer.
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