Effects of salinity and shear stress on clay deformation: A molecular dynamics study

H Dashtian and S Bakhshian, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 155, 134304 (2021).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0062919

The deformation of clay minerals is an important phenomenon that is relevant to many problems, particularly those that occur in subsurface geological formations. The salinity of the formations and external shear stress applied to them are two important factors that contribute to the deformation of such porous media. To gain a deeper understanding of such phenomena, we have carried out extensive molecular dynamics simulations using the Na-montmorillonite (Na-MMT) structure as the model of clay minerals and have studied the effect of salt concentration on its swelling. As the NaCl concentration increases, so also does the basal spacing. We demonstrate the effect of the coupling between the applied shear stress and NaCl salinity on the swelling behavior of Na-MMT, namely, deformation of the interlayer space that results in swelling. According to the results, the extent of Na-MMT deformation depends on both the brine salinity and the shear rate.& nbsp;Published under an exclusive license by AIP Publishing

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