Donate New Source and Special Clays

This document is designed to deal with acquisition of new Source and Special Clays. It will attempt to answer questions for those who feel they may have access to material suitable for consideration as a new source clay.


The History of the Source Clays project is given at:

1. Sourcing new clays

If you feel that you may have access to material which might be suitable as a new Source Clay or Special Clay, please contact the chair of the Society’s Source Clays Committee ( in the first instance.

You should expect to provide information which would answer the following questions:

  • What kind of clay is it? (The CMS can help with analysis, if required.)
  • Is it located at or associated with a commercial deposit?
  • Is that deposit being worked at present?
  • Who owns it?
  • Have you already investigated whether the owner is willing to donate material to the Repository?
  • Will that owner be willing to process the material (i.e. homogenize, in the case of a Source Clay?) (If not, the Society will explore options for such processing.)?
  • In what form will they package the material (best possible for clay lab is 25 Kg bags)?
  • Details of any/all processing to be noted.
  • SDS sheets to be prepared by provider (they should include wording “Scientific Research” in the “Recommended Uses” field; they should include the term “may include crystalline quartz of respirable size” in the hazards section if appropriate).

2. Shipping

Society Staff will help with shipping arrangements. A shipping agent in the country of origin, and another in the US will be required. Please contact the office: There are many organizations which will deal with shipping, particularly of larger, e.g. 1-2 ton amounts. Check with the provider of the clay as they may have a preferred agent and shipper.

To enable shipment, language in the SDS should include “Scientific Research” for “Recommended Use”.

3. Hosting

The Society’s Source Clays Repository is housed at Purdue University, Indiana, under the care of host, Prof. Cliff Johnston ( At the time of contacting the chair of the Source Clays committee, discussions should also be commenced with the host to make appropriate arrangements for delivery. The host should be informed of the containers in which the clays will be shipped so that appropriate storage can be arranged in advance and that sample management can be clarified. The clay should come in 25 Kg bags (not more than 25 Kg) for best handling at the Source Clay Lab site.

4. Baseline studies

The editor of the Society’s journal, Clays and Clay Minerals, Prof. J.W. Stucki, should be contacted when a new clay has been received. He will arrange for baseline studies of the new clay to be carried out and for the results of these studies to be published in the journal. Copies of baseline studies already carried out by the donor of the clay should supplied to the CMS office: These can then be added to the Source Clays website.

5. Online Shop

The new clay must also be added to the Source Clays Repository e-commerce site, to enable sales. the Source and Special Clays provide a valuable form of income to the Society.

6. Acknowledgement of the provider

The website will include details (and links to the website) of the provider of any new clays in acknowledgement of their contribution to our Society and to our science.

The Society will provide a list of occurrences of the new clay in the literature as a result of its inclusion in the repository.