Concentration dependence of yield stress of bentonite suspension and corresponding particle interactions

RS Deng and B Chen and CF Liu, COMPUTERS AND GEOTECHNICS, 157, 105358 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2023.105358

The prediction of the concentration dependence of the yield stress of bentonite suspension is important for both practical use and fundamental study. Whilst a great amount of research work has been undertaken concerning the theoretical prediction based on the Face-Face repulsive interactions alone, the effect of inclination angle alpha and separation distance D between clay particles has seemingly received little attention in the research literature. This article presents the prediction model of yield stress developed using the strength of interparticle interactions between two non-parallel platy particles of finite dimensions, aimed at providing insights into the evolution of interparticle interaction with increasing the mass fraction. The repulsive force between the particles for a range of values of geometrical parameters computed using the Gouy-Chapman theory of electrical double layer, along with the calculation presented on van der Waals force, provide a more quantitative means of evaluating the interparticle force in bentonite suspension. It was found that as alpha and D between particles increase, the magnitude of interparticle force including repulsive and attractive force decreases quickly. The ultimate comprehensive investigation indicated that as the mass fraction of bentonite suspension increases, interparticle interaction propagates from attractive interaction to repulsive attraction, and finally shifts to attractive inter-action. In this process, inter-particle separation distance decreases, accompanied by a transition process from a larger inclination angle to a nearly parallel orientation between the particles. The prediction model of yield stress considering the influence of concentration variation on alpha and D yields a good prediction of experimental data. The results of the present study should help interpret test results in cases where it may not be entirely possible to maintain a parallel particle orientation.

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