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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effects of Hydroxyl-Containing Organics on the Strength-Energy Characteristics of Montmorillonite1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 162-166
    Received: Apr 29, 1971
    Accepted: Oct 6, 1971

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  1. R. H. Dowdy2



The effect of polyvinyl alcohols and glucose on the tensile strength and tensile strain energy (rupture energy) of montmorillonite was studied by utilizing direct tensile strain of oriented clay films. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) dramatically increased the tensile strength of homoionically saturated montmorillonite in the following order: Na ≥ Ca >> Al. The intermediate molecular weight PVA8 (70,000–80,000 MW) increased strength significantly more than did the lower molecular weight PVA9 (14,000 MW). The strength of Na clay increased from 120 to 560 kg cm-2 with the addition of 30 g PVA8/100 g clay. Increases in strength were also noted at lower rates of polymer applications; 0.5 g PVA8/100 g clay doubled the strength of Ca clay. Glucose did not change the strength characteristics of montmorpillonite. The data suggest that long, linear, uncharged, polyhydroxylic polymers, such as PVA, are very effective in bridging clay domains. The tensile strain energy required to rupture montmorillonite increased with added PVA in a pattern similar to tensile strength increases.

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