Abstract

The effects of pH and ionic strength on the rheological behavior of aqueous suspensions of both crude and purified Wyoming bentonite and natural interstratified illite-smectite from Tunisia were investigated. Flow tests were performed on the four clay suspensions at a 10% clay concentration at different pH values. They showed that the rheological properties were highly sensitive to pH and the nature of the clay. The evolution of the yield stress as a function of pH is characterized by the presence of maxima and minima attributed to changes in the mode of association of the particles. The effect of pH on the behavior of clay suspended in NaCl solutions was also studied. The results show that the presence of NaCl has very little effect on the pH and yield stress values of the four materials.

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