The formation of a structural framework in gelled Wyoming bentonite: Direct observation in aqueous solutions

Zbik, Marek S., Williams, David J., Song, Yen-Fang and Wang, Chun-Chieh (2014) The formation of a structural framework in gelled Wyoming bentonite: Direct observation in aqueous solutions. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 435 119-127. doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2014.08.004

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Author Zbik, Marek S.
Williams, David J.
Song, Yen-Fang
Wang, Chun-Chieh
Title The formation of a structural framework in gelled Wyoming bentonite: Direct observation in aqueous solutions
Journal name Journal of Colloid and Interface Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-9797
Publication date 2014-12-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jcis.2014.08.004
Open Access Status
Volume 435
Start page 119
End page 127
Total pages 9
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Particle space arrangement is a very important factor that determines the physico-mechanical properties of soil. Formations of three-dimensional (3D) structured networks within gelled or flocculated suspension may prevent clay particles and aggregates from settling under gravity force and by encapsulate water within such a network, lead to poor sludge dewatering. To better understand this phenomenon, a microstructural investigation of a smectite clay (SWy2) suspension was conducted.

SWy-2 was diluted in water and a moderately salty aqueous solution and was studied with the aid of a synchrotron-powered transmission X-ray microscope (TXM) and cryogenic transmission electron microscope (Cryo-TEM). Observations of mutual particle arrangement in 3D spaces were conducted within a natural water environment after vitrification without drying.

A new type of micro-architecture in particle space arrangement was observed. Smectite flakes were mostly in edge-to-edge (EE) contact and formed a 3D network, confirming a “net of flakes” structural model. Clay particles form a complex and multi-hierarchic flocculated structure with characteristic cellular chained networking. Chained aggregates build cellular elements, encapsulating water inside closed voids. Increasing ionic strength results in the development of multi-hierarchic voids categories, with most water retained within nano-pores.
Keyword Clay flocculation
Clay gelation
Clay microstructure
Smectite flocks
Transmission X ray microscope
Wyoming montmorillonite
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 21 Oct 2014, 10:17:05 EST by System User on behalf of School of Civil Engineering