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Simulating multifaceted interactions between kaolinite platelets

de Bono, John; McDowell, Glenn

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John de Bono


It is well known that kaolinite platelets readily aggregate into ‘stacks’, having face-to-face contact. The traditional view of kaolin has been that the platelet faces are negatively charged and the edges are positively charged in an acidic environment, but that some attraction between faces may exist at some close range of approach. Particle-scale simulations in this paper show that this is insufficient to explain aggregation during sedimentation. Recently it has been established that the silica and alumina faces of kaolinite platelets have opposite charges in acidic conditions, and taking these findings into account, discrete element simulations are presented which replicate and explain the face-to-face aggregation that occurs during sedimentation. The results demonstrate the importance of correctly modelling the interactions between the various surfaces of individual platelets in any particle-based model.


de Bono, J., & McDowell, G. (2023). Simulating multifaceted interactions between kaolinite platelets. Powder Technology, 413, Article 118062.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 30, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 8, 2022
Publication Date Jan 1, 2023
Deposit Date Nov 18, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 18, 2022
Journal Powder Technology
Print ISSN 0032-5910
Electronic ISSN 1873-328X
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 413
Article Number 118062
Keywords General Chemical Engineering
Public URL
Publisher URL


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