Clay considered to have no permeability, or extremely low permeability.
In the article that follows, you’ll learn more about clay and its permeability (or lack thereof).
Is Clay Permeable? (EXPLAINED)
Clay is one of the minerals of this earth that is probably among the most familiar with the average person out in public.
This is because it has been used for countless years to help with the construction of various materials, and thus it has always been something that people ask about frequently.
What Is Permeability Anyway?
Permeability is the ability (or lack thereof) of liquids and gases to flow through a particular substance.
This is different that porosity (or having pores, meaning holes).
If a substances has holes, but the holes (at whatever size), do not connect up to allow liquid or gas to pass through, the subject is porous, but not permeable.
Why Isn’t Clay Permeable?
Clay is a really fine grained substance.
The tiny particles are so small and fit so closely together that very little space is left between these grains.
Because of the closeness of the grains of soil, clay is said to have very low or no permeability.
This means that liquids and gases are not able to pass through it at will like they might with some other substances.
This is why clay pots work so well as storage devices, and clay is often used in structures.
The upside of this is that clay is able to retain much of its form and properties that make it unique and useful, but the downside is that it is not appropriate for all human uses as a result.
It really depends on what one wants to try to use it for.
Uses of Clay
Clay is one of the most useful substances to mankind for a lot of reasons.
The fact that human beings have been using it for centuries to do things such as construct shelters lends a lot of value to the substance as something that people benefit from as a whole.
Clay is the oldest known ceramic material on the planet.
Even ancient cultures saw that clay could be used for a variety of different purposes.
They immediately put clay to use as something to help them construct their homes and to make works of art.
Additionally, they found clay to be useful for constructing things like eating utensils and even bowls and plates.
Having something that could hold up and keep their food and beverages safe was a very important thing to have at that point in time.
Obviously, society doesn’t still use clay for many of these purposes anymore, but some people do find it nice to use it for the simple fact that they love the way it looks and how it holds up even against some of the most extreme conditions.
There is something nice about showing guests that you have material made out of clay that people still gravitate to.
Where Can Clay Be Found?
Clay can be discovered almost anywhere on the planet.
There are many different types of clay, and some are only found in certain areas, but clay itself is available virtually all over the world. It is most likely to turn up in areas that were once rivers or streams.
The rushing waters that once filled that area will leave behind clay as they pass on.
Once the river or stream dries up there should be bountiful amounts of clay in that area. This is likely a big part of the reason why even the earliest humans used clay for their projects.
Humans have always needed to keep themselves near a water source of some kind, and that means that they likely turned up a lot of clay when those rivers went dry.
They would have put that clay to good use right off the bat because they would have seen how important it was to the development of society as a whole, and this surely would have led them to come up with creative uses for it going forward.
What Types Of Clay Exist?
There are five main types of clay used in pottery and many other purposes that you need to know about.
They break down like this:
- Earthenware – The name is very fitting for this one has it has an Earthy-type look to it, and it fires at a lower temperature than do some of the other types of clay. This is the ideal type of make pottery and other materials rather quickly. Those working with bulk amounts of products may turn to earthenware more than the others.
- Stoneware – A tan-colored type of clay, this clay is useful for making pottery as well. The temperatures have to be set a little higher than they are for earthenware, but it comes out looking great. Also, it can be a bit easier to add an extra artistic flourish to this type of clay because it is so tan and easy to add color to.
- Porcelain – Requiring higher temperatures still, porcelain is something that many in the public are well aware of. People still use porcelain in many of their daily activities, and this makes this particular type of clay a fan favorite for many people.
- Ball clay – Light gray in color, this one often requires high temperatures to come out just right.
- Fire clay – This one also needs high temperatures to work, but it looks beautiful once it is pulled out of the fire. Often, specks of different things from the fire are burned into this type of clay as it is removed.
Those are the main types of clay that people use when they are making pottery pieces. It is common to see some combination of all of these available from those who make clay pottery a major part of what they do economically speaking.
Therefore, you will want to check out the various products offered using these different types of clay.
Clay is critically important to our lives and has been since the times of the earliest human beings. Pay special attention to the ways that it plays a role in your own life, and you will see just how much it matters.
You’ll learn more here: