oa Agrochemophysica - The swelling of montmorillonite clays

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0302-7112



This investigation was undertaken to throw more light on the reported differences in swelling behaviour of clays of the montmorillonite group. The data presented reveal large differences in the magnitude of swelling of two similarly treated clays of comparable surface area. These differences are explained on the basis of a difference in the position of the charge (tetrahedral as opposed to octahedral), resulting in a difference in the extent of the electrical field and double layer development. The reduction in swelling of the NH4, Cs and Ca-Clayspur clay as compared with the Na-form is probably due to plate condensation with resultant swelling on the external surface area only. The Hectorite sample, saturated with monovalent cations swells in good agreement with theoretical expectations. When saturated with divalent cations, poor agreement with the theory is obtained.

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