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Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3 , MgO etc.) and organic matter. Clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to particle size and geometry as well as water content, and become hard, brittle and non-plastic upon drying or firing. Depending on the soil's content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red.

Although many naturally occurring deposits include both silts and clay, clays are distinguished from other fine-grained soils by differences in size and mineralogy. Silts, which are fine-grained soils that do not include clay minerals, tend to have larger particle sizes than clays. There is, however, some overlap in particle size and other physical properties. The distinction between silt and clay varies by discipline. Geologists and soil scientists usually consider the separation to occur at a particle size of 2 µm (clays being finer than silts), sedimentologists often use 4–5 μm, and colloid chemists use 1 μm. Geotechnical engineers distinguish between silts and clays based on the plasticity properties of the soil, as measured by the soils' Atterberg limits. ISO 14688 grades clay particles as being smaller than 2 μm and silt particles as being larger.
Mixtures of sand, silt and less than 40% clay are called loam. Loam makes good soil and is used as a building material.

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  1. CountryGent

    Over/Under Recommendation?

    So, I am interested in getting back into trap/skeet, and maybe sporting clays if I can find an opportunity for the latter in the general area. My thinking is to acquire a basic, decent quality over/under type. If I stick with the sports again, upgrade to something nicer. If not, not. (After...
  2. T

    Sporting Clays at TCGC

    Went for a quick tour at TCGC the other day, I was very impressed with the overall facility. I just had a general question about the sporting clays range. I’m wondering how the clays work with trap/skeet. It seems like they occupy the same space and clays has to give way to the other...
  3. CountryGent

    Favorite Shooting Sports?

    I can't be the only one tired of all the negative vibes from political situation, so why not have a fun thread talking about our favorite shooting sports, why we enjoy them, what gear we use, etc.? For the sake of the thread, it can be any discipline or sport: bullseye, bowling pin, cowboy...
  4. phidelt208

    Odd Colored Hodgdons Clays

    Has anyone seen a change in Hogdons Clays, I haven't reloaded 45 ACP in a while and just picked up a pound of it from Cabelas and it has a Yellowish look to it now. The darker powder is Clays from some reloads I made years ago, and the stuff on the right is the new powder. Just to be clear this...
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