Swelling Clay Identification

W. T. Cardwell Jr.
California Research Corporation

Abstract: It is inexact to speak of “swelling clays” and “nonswelling clays.” The highly swelling clays and the poorly swelling clays are merely end members of a continuous natural range. Identification of a clay as a montmorillonite does not tell whether it is a highly swelling or a poorly swelling clay. Lattice expanding ability as observed in the usual X-ray test is not directly related to macroscopic swelling ability; and swelling ability cannot be predicted from such an X-ray test. Swelling ability cannot be predicted from chemical analysis or particle size analysis. At the present time, the only reliable way to identify a clay as a highly swelling or poorly swelling clay is to perform a swelling test on it.

Clays and Clay Minerals; 1954 v. 3; no. 1; p. 482; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1954.0030139
© 1954, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)