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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1956. Department of Geology.


Copyright 1956, the author. Used by permission.


Ceramic properties of the loess in Nebraska have not been investigated prior to this work.It was the recognition of a need for ceramic materials that prompted the undertaking of this project. Experiments were conducted upon the firing of the Loveland and Peorian formations in southeastern Nebraska.The main purpose of the investigation was to determine the economic possibilities for utilization of Nebraska loess deposits, in manufacturing bricks and other ceramic products.

Results of the fired samples from Nebraska City, West Point and Council Bluffs, Iowa show that the loess in these localities contain too much lime and the vitrified products are too sticky to be utilized in any vitrified products, especially light-weight aggregate, unless by addition of necessary foreign material, stickiness is reduced.

The conclusion has been drawn that the loess of deposits of eastern Nebraska can be utilized for more ceramic products than they are at present.The loess is suitable for the manufacturing of relatively coarse and low-cost products.Its advantage lies in minimum mining costs, low firing temperatures, and application of standard methods of production.Products of this type include common bricks, face bricks, plaster tile, and drain tile.The loess would be a good raw material for coarse earthenware products, such a garden tools.

In utilization of loess the manufacturers should be cautious and avoid zones of excess lime concentration.For commercial use of loess a raw material the site of a new ceramic plant should be chosen where the loess deposits are free of excess lime.

Advisor:Charles M. Riley