Letter | Published:

Isoelectric point of the edge surface of kaolinite

Naturevolume 257pages214216 (1975) | Download Citation



THE nature of the particle–particle interactions in clay suspensions is of great technological importance since these interactions determine the flow properties of suspensions used in, for example, ceramic manufacture and paper making, and as oil drilling fluids. They also influence profoundly the structure and behaviour of soils. Clay particles are of a plate-like morphology and thus exhibit two types of surface, the edges and the basal faces. Consequently, a variety of different types of particle–particle interaction are possible in aqueous clay suspensions1,2. For example, structures consisting of individual particles coagulated in an edge–face or an edge–edge arrangement have been proposed as well as face–face (or ‘card–pack’) aggregates which may themselves be coagulated in edge–face or edge–edge modes2.

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    Swartzen-Allen, S. L., and Matijevic, E., Chem. Revs, 74, 385–400 (1974).

  2. 2

    van Olphen, H., Introduction to Clay Colloid Chemistry (Interscience, New York, 1963).

  3. 3

    Melton, I. E., thesis, Univ. Sheffield (1975).

  4. 4

    Schofield, R. K., J. Soil Sci., 1, 1–8 (1949).

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    Schofield, R. K., and Samson, H. R., Discuss. Faraday Soc., 18, 135–145 (1954).

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    Okuda, S., and Williamson, W. O., Proc. 12th Nat. Conf. Clays and Clay Minerals, Atlanta, Georgia, 1963 (edit. by Bradley, W. G.), 223–229 (Pergamon, Oxford, 1964).

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    Flegmann, A. W., Goodwin, J. W., and Ottewill, R. H., Proc. Br. Ceram. Soc., No. 13, 31–45 (1969).

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    Quirk, J. P., Nature, 188, 253–254 (1960).

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    • I. E. MELTON

    Present address: GR-Stein Refractories Ltd, Genefax House, Tapton Park Road, Sheffield, S10, UK


  1. Department of Ceramics, Glasses and Polymers, University of Sheffield, UK

    • B. RAND
    •  & I. E. MELTON


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