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Clay Minerals
  • Materials that clays are made of
Tetrahedral (Silica Sheets)
  • Consists of silicon and oxygen attoms
Octahedral (Alumina Sheets or Magneisum Sheets)
  • Gibbsite - Consists of aluminum atoms and hydroxyls (OH)
  • Brucite - Sometimes octrahedral have magnesium attoms forming magnesia sheets
Kaolinite
  • Consists of alternating silica and alumina sheets staked on top of each other
  • Held together with strong chemical bonds
  • VERY STABLE
  • does not expand when wet
  • used in pottery, paper, paint
  • 0.72 nm
Montmorillenite
  • Consists of alternating silica/alumina/silica sheetes stacked ontop of one another
  • bonds between layers are very weak
  • therefore the mineral will swell
  • very low permeability
  • used as a geosynthetic clay liner
  • has greatest specific surface, therefore greatest affinity of water
Illite
  • Consists of alternating silica/alumina/silica sheets stacked however has a potassium atom inbetween layers
  • bond is weaker than kaolinite but stronger than montmorillenite
  • slightly expands with water
Chlorite
  • consists of alternating silica/alumina/silica sheets stacked with a brucite (magnesium) layer in between sheets
Vermiculite
  • Alternating silica/aluminia/silica sheets with two layers of water molecules in between sheets
  • expnads 6-20 times
  • used of insulation
Specific Surface
  • Surface Area to Mass ratio
  • large specific surface of clays provices mroe contact area between particles and more opportunity greater affinity for absorbing water
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