Advertisement

Clays and Clay Minerals

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 174–185 | Cite as

Swelling of Clay under Pressure

  • Paul G. Nahin
Article

Abstract

An experimental technique for studying the swelling of clay under constraint and some preliminary results for the swelling of Wyoming bentonite in several media are presented and discussed. Fractionated, powdered clay is mixed with an equal weight of non-swelling microporous porcelain, which serves to distribute the swelling agent rapidly and uniformly. The mix is compacted in a cell at high pressure and permitted to imbibe fluid through a porous porcelain plate under simultaneously applied almost equal pressures from 0 to 10,000 psig on both sides of the fluid-gel interface. The unidirectionally constrained volume change of the sample is measured by displacement of mercury in a steel buret. Degree of swelling is taken as the volume ratio of gel to 105° C dry clay.

In the range of pressure from 0 to 10,000 psig, the colloidal magnesium sodium montmorillonite swells from about 93 to 231 percent (volume ratio 1.93 to 3.31) depending on the composition of imbibed fluid. Aqueous 0.171N sodium chloride and magnesium chloride solutions produce 14 and 11 percent, respectively, more swelling at 1,500 than at 0 psig. Swelling in calcium chloride solution is insensitive to this pressure change. At 10,000 psig these solutions, and hydrochloric acid, produce less swelling than at 1,500 psig and, in fact, produce almost equal swellings of 130± 4 percent. It is inferred that swelling in chloride solutions at this pressure may be essentially cation-independent. Within the concentration range of 0 to 171N there appears to be little practical difference in the degree of swelling of the clay by sodium chloride and calcium chloride solutions; the swelling is a linear function of the logarithm of the salt concentration.

Comparison of d(001) spacings calculated from swelling ratios with those obtained by X-ray diffraction lead to the conclusion that the method measures crystalline swelling in contradistinction to osmotic swelling.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brindley, G. W. (Editor) (1951) X-ray identification and crystal structures of clay minerals: Mineralogical Society, British Museum, London.Google Scholar
  2. Bradley, W. F. (1945) Molecular associations between montmorillonite and some polyfunctional organic liquids: J. Am. Chem. Soc., vol. 67, pp. 975–981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cardwell, W. T. Jr., (California Research Corporation, La Habra, California) Smelling clay identification: 1954 Pacific Coast Regional Conference on Clays and Clay Technology, University of California, Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
  4. Foster, M. D. (1953) Geochemical studies of clay minerals: II. Relation between ionic substitution and swelling in montntorillonite: Am. Mineral., vol. 38, pp. 994–1006.Google Scholar
  5. Grim, R. E. (1953) Clay mineralogy: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, pp. 161–189.Google Scholar
  6. Hermans, P. H. (1949) in Colloid Science, Vol. II (edited by Kruyt, H. R.), Elsevier Publishing Company, New York, pp. 512–577. (This is a thorough, critical, theoretical treatment of sorption and swelling.)Google Scholar
  7. Hendricks, S. B., Nelson, R. A., and Alexander, L. T. (1940) Hydration mechanism of the clay mineral montmorillonite saturated with various ions: J. Am. Chem. Soc., vol. 62, pp. 1457–1464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Katz, J. R. (1933) The laws oj swelling: Trans. Faraday Soc., vol. 29, pp. 279–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kister, E. G. (1947) The swelling of clays: Neft. Khoz., vol. 25, No. 12, pp. 23–27.Google Scholar
  10. Marshall, C. E. (1949) Colloid chemistry of the silicate minerals: Academic Press Inc., Publishers, New York, pp. 162–164.Google Scholar
  11. Mering, J. (1946) The hydration of montmorillonite: Trans. Faraday Soc., vol. 42B, pp. 205–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nahin, P. G., Merrill, W. C., Grenall, A., and Crog, R. S. (1951) Mineralogical studies of California oilbearing formations. I. Identification of clays: J. Petroleum Tech. (Petroleum Trans. AIME, T.P. 3059, vol. 192, pp. 151–158.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Norrish, K. (1954) Manner of swelling of montmorillonite: Nature, vol. 173, pp. 256–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Norrish, K., and Quirk, J. P. (1954) Crystalline swelling of montmorillonite—Use of electrolytes to control swelling: Nature, vol. 173, pp. 255–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Overbeek, J. Th. G. (1952) in Colloid Science, vol. I (edited by Kruyt, H. R.), Elsevier Publishing Company, New York, p. 362.Google Scholar
  16. Power, H. H., Towle, B. L., and Plaza, J. B. (1942) Hydration-pressure relations in clays and heaving shale: Oil & Gas J., vol. 41, No. 27, pp. 215, 217, 219, 220, 223. Also in Proc. Am. Petroleum Inst. Sect. IV, vol. 23, pp. 64–77, and University of Texas Publication No. 4205; Feb. 1, 1942, Engineering Research Series No. 33.Google Scholar
  17. Posnjak, E. (1912) Swelling pressure: Kolloidchem. Beih., vol. 3, pp. 417–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Swelling and Shrinking (1946) A General Discussion: Trans. Faraday Soc., vol. 42B, pp. 1–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Clay Minerals Society 1954

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul G. Nahin
    • 1
  1. 1.Union Oil Company of CaliforniaUSA

Personalised recommendations