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|The low-shear viscosity of kaolin slurries is one of the principal characteristics that determine whether a clay can be utilized for paper and ceramic applications. In this work, the causes of high low-shear viscosity and methods for improving the rheological behavior of the slurries were investigated. The presence of fine-grained smectite impurities within the kaolin was shown to detrimentally affect the low-shear rheology of the slurries produced from these clays. It was also shown that mechanically working (i.e., pugging) a crude kaolin followed by desliming to remove these impurities can reduce the low-shear viscosity.|