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The Effects of Salinity and Shear History on the Rheological Characteristics of Illite-Rich and Na-Montmorillonite-Rich Clays

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Particle–;particle interactions in natural clays can be evaluated by their rheological behavior, but the results are often affected by the physicochemical properties of the clays. The behaviors of two fundamentally different types of clays (low-activity and high-activity) differ with respect to salinity and a time factor (duration of shearing at a given shear rate): illite-rich Jonquiere clay (low-activity clay, Canada) and montmorillonite-rich Wyoming bentonite (high-activity clay, USA). The purpose of the present study was to investigate these different behaviors. Most natural clays exhibit shear-thinning and thixotropic behavior with respect to salinity and the volumetric concentration of the solids. Natural clays also exhibit time-dependent non-Newtonian behavior. In terms of index value and shear strength, low-activity and high-activity clays are known to exhibit contrasting responses to salinity. The geotechnical and rheological characteristics as a function of salinity and the shearing time for the given materials are compared here. The clay minerals were compared to estimate the inherent shear strengths, such as remolded shear strength (which is similar to the yield strength). Low-activity clay exhibits thixotropic behavior in a time-dependent manner. High-activity clay is also thixotropic for a short period of shearing, although rare cases of rheopectic behavior have been measured for long periods of shearing at high shear rates. The change from thixotropic to rheopectic behavior by bentonite clay has little effect at low shearing speeds, but appears to have a significant effect at higher speeds.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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  • The JOURNAL publishes articles of interest to the international community of clay scientists, including but not limited to areas in mineralogy, crystallography, geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, soil science, agronomy, physical chemistry, colloid chemistry, ceramics, petroleum engineering, foundry engineering, and soil mechanics. Clays and Clay Minerals exists to disseminate to its worldwide readership the most recent developments in all of these aspects of clay materials. Manuscripts are welcome from all countries.

    Clays and Clay Minerals is the official publication of The Clay Minerals Society.

    The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Joseph W. Stucki [email protected]

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