Abstract: Kaolin floc structures of commercial utility are produced by adsorption of hexamethylenediamine. These flocs are largely face-to-face structures with small diameter platelets of colloidal kaolinite aggregated on larger platelets of kaolinite and muscovite. Because of its higher charge density, muscovite is more effective than kaolinite in scavenging colloidal panicles.
Although earlier workers have been at odds as to where amines adsorb on kaolinite, the present work indicates that both edge and basal surfaces are involved. Evidence for this contention is two-fold: (1) Face-to-face and edge-to-face flocculation of hexamethylenediamine kaolins has been observed. (2) Polyesters have been observed adsorbed on basal and edge surfaces of ethylenediamine-treated kaolins.
The mechanism by which kaolinite particles are bonded together into floc structures is unclear. Bridging by hexamethylenediammonium ions is a probable mechanism up to satisfaction of the cation-exchange capacity; further amine addition continues to promote flocculation. From this observation it is inferred that, in addition to bridging, hydrogen bonding and, perhaps, van der Waals forces are instrumental in floc formation. Although rheologically inferior to the untreated equivalent, these chemically induced flocs of kaolinite provide loosely packed, randomly oriented structures in paper coatings. Improved brightness, opacity, and printability of paper coatings arise from this structure.