Kaolin, also known as kaolinite, is a clay mineral consisting largely of hydrated aluminosilicates. It also includes trace amounts of other minerals such as dickit, nacrite, and halloysite. The raw clay comes in a variety of hues. Its hue reflects the mineral composition; it might be pink, gray-ish, or even green. 

Kaolin has a neutral pH and benefits more when combined with other minerals or clays. In its common usage, kaolin is usually divided into three industry types: kaolin lump, noodle, and powder, all of which contain a different level of moisture and form.

Moreover, often known as China clay, kaolin usually presents itself as a soft clay that is utilized in a variety of cosmetic treatments. The term “Kaolin” is derived from the Chinese word “Kaoling“,  which relates to the name of a hill in China where this mineral was originally found and mined. Kaolin is commonly used in the manufacture of porcelain and diarrheal medication in China.

Kaolin is abundant in many volcanic regions, including Indonesia. In Indonesia, its existence is particularly rich around the Ring of Fire region, including Bangka Belitung, South Kalimantan, and West Kalimantan. In Indonesia, kaolin lump is utilized as a raw material in many modern industries, including paper, medicine, paint, ceramics, and cosmetic goods. 

If you’re just into the kaolin industry and wish to learn more about kaolin lump and their usages, continue reading to learn more about the advantages of this material.

How is Kaolin Lump Made?

Example of kaolin lump

The lump version of kaolin has undergone a lengthy process before it can be used in industrial activities. It must first be mined, which is usually done using a water jet. Following that, kaolinite is centrifuged kaolin slurry, which removes the sand. Then, kaolinite may proceed to its triple filtering process, which employs 100, 200, and 325 mesh screens.

Kaolinite will be purified and solidified after it has been filtered using a high-pressure pump and filter press. This step yields kaolin clay or a lump with a moisture level of around 33-35 percent.

However, if you want kaolin with a lower moisture level, it must go through a natural drying process until the moisture level is reduced to approximately 12-14 percent. This kaolin is regarded to have a medium amount of moisture instead of drier kaolin, which contains just 1-4 percent of moisture.

Applications of Kaolin Lump in Various Industries

Illustration of the application of kaolin lump in many industries

Now that you know the formation process of kaolin lump, let’s dive into its suitability for a wide range of industries—be it the beauty industries, paint, or even construction and agriculture. Here are some of the industries that use kaolin lumps that you can check out.

1. Paint and Coating Industry

The lump version of kaolin is very important in the paint and coating industry. This is because kaolin clay has good flow properties and high covering power, is chemically inert, and reduces the number of expensive pigments required. Besides, its hardness improves the paint film’s physical endurance and burnish resistance.

2. Cosmetics

Kaolin lump is both popular in the cosmetics business. Kaolin clay face masks are said to have various benefits, including acne prevention, dry skin therapy, and oil or sebum absorption. Kaolin lumps are also thought to be the most sensitive and gentle clays used in skincare.

Furthermore, kaolin acts like a sponge on your skin. It absorbs dirt and oil in the same way as sebum does. An excess of sebum can cause acne. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities may aid in the healing of your skin.

Related: The Benefits of Washed Kaolin for Cosmetic Products

3. Agriculture

Kaolin can be used as a porous ceramic carrier for various herbicides and pesticides. Moreover, the lump contains an aluminosilicate particle coating that is immediately sprayed on crops. The film reduces insects and disease by interfering with feeding behavior and egg-laying, increasing mortality, visually or chemically hiding the crop, and extending development time. Kaolin has been found to decrease the number of thrips and weevils, as well as other insect-borne illnesses.

Related: The Advantages and Right Kaolin Uses in Agriculture

4. Paper Industry

Kaolin lump acts as a paper covering, improving appearance by increasing brightness, smoothness, and gloss. It also facilitates printing. It is also used as a filler in the paper industry, lowering prices and reducing the use of tree-based resources.

Furthermore, the newspaper business typically utilizes paper with a 2% kaolin combination, but thicker paper can include up to 30%. The proportion will differ depending on the base material and the thickness of the paper. Generally, kaolin is only used in the production of white paper materials.

5. Filler

Kaolin lump makes a great filler due to multiple reasons. Filler is an essential component of any manufacturing process aimed at increasing volume or strength. However, you’re in luck because this mineral is ideal as it enhances volume while also increasing hardness, resistance to tear and abrasion, and tension of the final output. For example, ceramics and home depot are two industries that frequently employ kaolin as a filler component to improve the quality of their products.

Furthermore, most companies are looking for low-cost materials in the market. The reason is that they want to create as many products as possible while still minimizing the overall production cost in the factory without compromising the quality.

This is why kaolin is one of the most favored materials in the market. Kaolin lumps are generally low in cost and versatile for multiple industries. As a filler, it contributes to an increase in production volume and quantity. For example, in the paint industry, the factory may create more paint in a short time while still being cost-efficient. 

Other Types of Industry

Aside from the sectors listed previously, kaolin lumps may also be found in common items. Here are some of the greatest examples: Kaolin is used to create lotions in various brands, especially to cure blisters and skin irritation. Kaolin is used to improve the appearance of ancient porcelain, non-solid earthenware, and solid earthenware, as well as to make rubber-based goods.

Kaolin lump is one of the most well-sought materials for a great cause. This article will guide you in understanding more about this China clay and its role in multiple industry applications. If you are looking for kaolin for your industrial process, please contact Yukami today.

Yukami is a leading kaolin manufacturer in Indonesia with over 30 years of experience. We offer a wide range of kaolin products and services, and we work with qualified professionals to ensure that our products are used safely and effectively.