As far as Materials are concerned, clay must qualify as the oldest branch of all materials science but it continues to define some of the newest material developments and probably ranks as the most important and versatile of all of man’s industrial minerals with a wealth of modern applications and uses.

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Halloysite: a unique, diverse and widely useful natural nanomaterial

Halloysite is a clay mineral whose time has arrived. Until 2006, few papers were published on this mineral. Its main use was as a raw material for ceramics, in place of kaolinite. The approximately 800 papers published since then reflect its recognition as a nanomaterial, especially in nanotubes. These have proved widely useful, including as reinforcing fillers in plastics, as carriers for the controlled internal release of medicines – and of pesticides, and also for immobilizing catalysts. Nonetheless, it remains “a very strange mineral” as was once written.