What is clay?


Clay represents a sediment made of clayish minerals characterized by physical and chemical properties that add plasticity if mixed with water and refractoriness if dehydrated. These properties led and still lead many companies to succeed in the ceramic and building industry, as happened at C.B.C.


Clay for ceramic uses


Depending on the composition, the clay can be destined for different final applications.
The most common use is in ceramics, which takes advantage of clay’s principal property: plasticity.

Plasticity is essential during the shaping process which consists in reducing the substance to the desired shape before irreversibly consolidating it during the following processes that are grinding, pressing/wire drawing, drying and firing.

The greater the ability of the clay to absorb and retain water, the greater its plasticity so its ability to be transformed into a doughy mass that can be molded at room temperature without breaking or cracking.

Italian production, historically tied to ceramics and refractory materials, has been gradually declining because of increased competition from raw materials from outside the country (mainly Ukraine and Turkey).



C.B.C. buys and sells the following types of clays

European Clays

C.B.C. buys clays coming from EU countries. Then, the clays are milled and sold to clients with various particles sizes for the following applications:

  • Clay for ceramic bodies
    Clay is the main ingredient used in the production of ceramic bodies and porcelain tiles suitable for presses and wire drawing machines. It is mixed with other suitably dosed substances until a homogeneous compound is reached.
  • Clay for engobe and glaze
    Clay is used in engobes and glazes, compounds that represent a thin coating for ceramic tiles.
  • Clay for bricks and majolica
    Clay is also used as a hydraulic binder for the production of bricks and majolica.
  • Clay for thermal muds

Clay is used for mud therapy and is called peloid and sold to spas for dermatological treatments thanks to its absorbent, remineralizing and antiendemigenic properties. In particular, Clay F represents the main example of clay sold by C.B.C. to spas. Read the certificate of mineralogical and geotechnical analysis of this product.

Ukranian Clays



  • Since 2015, C.B.C. sells clays coming from Ukraine, in particular from Dombass region. Ukranian clays are characterized by the following properties:
  • Very light colour;
  • High level of plasticity;
  • Fe2O3 percentage below 1%;
  • Al2O3 percentage between 21% and 25%.
  • These properties are essential for the production of white full-body porcelain and slabs.
  • Thanks to large capacity vessels (25000/30000 tons) a large supply of clays is constantly stored in Ravenna warehouse (Italy) that is mostly covered. This allows the company to sell clays with limited percentage of moisture during all year long.
  • Read the technical data sheets of Ukrainian clays:
  • Clay AL23
  • Clay AM 2510
  • Clay SKT1
  • Clay SKT2