How does Spinks maintain such high quality?

Insuring a supply of quality clay is very important to Spinks. Spinks’ Senior Geologist brings samples to the research and development laboratory daily for testing.

As soon as the samples reach the laboratory one of Spinks' technicians assigns identification numbers and logs them in for testing. A technician prepares the samples for a series of testing that will determine the physical and chemical properties of the drill samples.

Results from the tests are entered into a database. The data is analyzed using charts and graphs to determine the clay type and suitability for use. The data is also merged with maps to show clay types, depths and location. These maps and data are used to determine the location of the current mining operations. A constant supply of consistent premium ball clay is possible because of the laboratory drill data analyses.

Tests on the drill samples include carbon and sulfur using the LECO Corporation SC-444 analyzer, particle size distribution using a Micromeritics Sedigraph 5100, specific surface area on a Micromeritics TriStar 3000, chemical properties an Oxford QX XRF (X-ray fluorescence) analyzer, and also loss on ignition, residues and fired color.

H.C. Spinks’ quality control manager oversees the testing results and makes the data available to the raw materials manager.