Mechanics of halloysite nanotubes

Kheng-Lim Goh, Rangika Thilan De Silva, Pooria Pasbakhsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

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Halloysite is a naturally occurring alumino silicate and its structural makeup is similar to kaolinite, that is, it features a laminar structure comprising repeating layers of one tetrahedral (silica) sheet and one octahedral (alumina) sheet. The two sheets are held together to form a single layer with a thickness of about 0.72 nm. Unlike kaolinite, halloysite is commonly seen in a tubular shape (Figure 14.1a, b), and for this reason, halloysite particles are commonly referred to as halloysite nanotubes (HNTs). Starting from a crystal lattice of a kaolinite sheet, it tends to an energetically stable structure by distorting (when hydrated) and deforming into a tube. The question on why it rolls instead of performing a tetrahedral rotation addresses the mechanics to correct for misfit of the octahedral (alumina) and tetrahedral (silica) sheets (Singh et al., 1996). Singh et al. (1996) presented an elegant model to explain that the rolling mechanism encounters lower resistance from the Si-Si repulsion (as compared to tetrahedral rotation) to correct the same amount of misfit.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNatural Mineral Nanotubes: Properties and Applications
EditorsPooria Pasbakhsh, G Jock Churchman
Place of PublicationBoca Raton FL USA
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781482262254
ISBN (Print)9781771880565
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Axial stress
  • Cartesian coordinate
  • Elastic-plastic response
  • Heterogeneous atoms
  • Polymeric matrix material
  • Volume fraction
  • Young’s modulus

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