Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 13, Issue 11, pp 5919–5926 | Cite as

Mechanical and thermal properties of a nanopowder talc compound produced by controlled ball milling

  • Francesco Dellisanti
  • Vanna Minguzzi
  • Giovanni Valdrè
Special Issue: Nanostructured Materials 2010


A powdered compound constituted by over the 95% of talc Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 with MgCO3 and CaMg(CO3)2 as minor phases was mechanically deformed by compaction and shear to a nanosized particulate (crystallite size ~5 nm) in a specifically built planetary ball mill. The mechanical milling was conducted in a controlled thermodynamic environment (25 °C and 0.13 Pa) by using low mechanical load to minimise amorphisation of the material. Mechanical τ(ε) shear analysis and thermo-structural modifications of the nanostructured talc particulate were investigated after selected milling times (0, 1, 5 and 20 h). At the very early stages of milling (1 h) layer flattening, lamination and texturing of the talc particles occurred. For prolonged milling (up to 20 h), a progressive reduction of the TOT talc stacking layer coherence, from about 20–5 nm, and an increase of (001) microstrain from about 0.6–2.2 × 10−2 nm, as a non-linear function of the treatment time, were observed. A progressive increase of the specific surface area up to 28 m2/g as a consequence of the particle size reduction took place at intermediate milling times (5 h) and reduced to about 10 m2/g at prolonged milling (20 h). Even the thermo-structural behaviour of the particulate was significantly modified. For 20-h milled talc, a severe decrease of the dehydroxylation temperature from about 900–600 °C was observed with a concomitant anticipation of the recrystallisation of talc into MgSiO3 (enstatite). The τ(ε) behaviour of the compound was strongly affected by the milling treatment changing from a shear-softening regime (untreated and 1 h) to a shear-hardening one (20 h). The observed changes of talc are of great importance to understand the rheology and the thermal transformation kinetics of talc compounds and can be exploited in those industrial applications that required milling of talc, such as in the production of talc-polymers nanocomposites or in medium–high-temperature ceramic processes.


Talc Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 Microstrain Ball milling Ceramic compound Nanomaterials 



IMIFABI S.P.A (Milan, Italy) is kindly acknowledged for the supply of the talc raw material. University of Bologna is also thanked for the support of the research.


  1. Abriak NE (1998) Local friction effect of the global behaviour of granular media. Math Comput Model 28(4–8):121–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aglietti EF (1994) The effect of dry grinding on the structure of talc. Appl Clay Sci 9(2):139–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aglietti EF, Porto Lopez J (1992) Physicochemical and thermal properties of mechanochemically activated talc. Mater Res Bull 27(10):1205–1216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonetti E, Valdrè G (1993) Anelastic and thermal properties of nanostructured aluminium prepared by mechanical attrition. Philos Mag B 68(6):967–977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bonetti E, Campari EG, Pasquini L, Sampaolesi E, Valdrè G (1998) Structural and elastic properties of nanocrystalline iron and nickel prepared by ball milling in controlled thermodynamic environment. Mater Sci Forum 269–272(2):1005–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bošković SB, Gašić MČ, Nikolić VS, Ristić MM (1968) The structural changes of talc during heating. Proc Br Ceram Soc 10:1–12Google Scholar
  7. Bruno M, Prencipe M, Valdrè G (2006) Ab initio quantum-mechanical modeling of pyrophyllite [Al2Si4O10(OH)2] and talc [Mg3Si4O10(OH)2] surfaces. Phys Chem Miner 33(1):63–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Calafato A, Dellisanti F, Valdrè G (2006) Relationship between structural properties and experimental shear test of KGa-1, KGa-2 and commercial kaolin under high normal pressure. Paper presented at 4th Mediterranean clay meeting, Ankara, Turkey, 5–10 Sep 2006Google Scholar
  9. Christidis GE, Makri P, Perdikatsis V (2004) Influence of grinding on the structure and colour properties of talc, bentonite and calcite white fillers. Clay Miner 39(2):163–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Christidis GE, Dellisanti F, Valdrè G, Makri P (2005) Structural modifications of smectites mechanically deformed under controlled conditions. Clay Miner 40(4):511–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dellisanti F, Valdrè G (2005) Study of structural properties of ion treated and mechanically deformed commercial bentonite. Appl Clay Sci 28(1–4):233–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dellisanti F, Valdrè G (2008) Linear relationship between thermo-dehydroxylation and induced-strain by mechanical processing in vacuum: the case of industrial kaolinite, talc and montmorillonite. Int J Miner Process 88:94–99. doi: 10.1016/j.minpro.2008.07.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dellisanti F, Valdrè G (2010) On the high-temperature structural behaviour of talc, Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 up to 1600 °C. Effect of mechanical deformation and strain. Philos Mag 90(17–18):2443–2457. doi: 10.1080/14786431003772991 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dellisanti F, Calafato A., Pini G.A, Valdrè G (2005) The role of water on development of scaly cleavage and geomechanical behaviour. Results from experimental shear deformation. Paper presented at conference Geoitalia 2005, Spoleto, Italy, 21–23 Sep 2005Google Scholar
  15. Dellisanti F, Valdrè G, Mondonico M (2009) Changes of the main physical and technological properties of talc due to mechanical strain. Appl Clay Sci 42(3–4):398–404. doi: 10.1016/j.clay.2008.04.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Drits VA, Eberl DD, Srodon J (1998) XRD measurement of mean thickness, thickness distribution and strain for illite and illite-smectite crystallites by the Bertaut–Warren–Averbach technique. Clay Clay Miner 46(1):38–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eberl DD, Drits V, Srodon J, Nuesch R (1996) MudMaster: a program for calculating crystallite size distribution and strain from the shapes of X-ray diffraction peaks. USGS, Open File Report 96-171, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  18. Evans BW, Guggenheim S (1988) Talc, pyrophyllite and related minerals. In: Bailey SW (ed) Hydrous phyllosilicates (exclusive of micas). Review of mineral geochemistry. Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, pp 225–294Google Scholar
  19. Filio JM, Sugiyama K, Saito F, Waseda Y (1994) A study on talc ground by tumbling and planetary ball mills. Powder Technol 78(2):121–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gatti AM, Valdrè G, Tombesi A (1996) Importance of microanalysis in understanding mechanism of transformation in active glassy biomaterials. J Biomed Mater Res 31(4):475–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Godet-Morand L, Chamayou A, Dodds J (2002) Talc grinding in an opposed air jet mill: start-up, product quality and production rate optimization. Powder Technol 128(2–3):306–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gregg SJ (1968) Surface chemistry study of comminuted and compacted solids. Chem Ind 11:611–617Google Scholar
  23. Klug HP, Alexander LE (1974) X-ray diffraction procedures. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Krumm S (1996) WINFIT 1.0—a computer program for X-ray diffraction line profile analysis. Acta Univ Carol Geol 38:253–261Google Scholar
  25. Liao J, Senna M (1992) Thermal behavior of mechanically amorphized talc. Thermochim Acta 197(2):295–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pawley AR, Redfern AT, Wood BJ (1995) Thermal expansivities and compressibilities of hydrous phases in the system MgO–SiO2–H2O: talc phase a and 10-angstrom phase. Contrib Miner Pet 122:301–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Perdikatsis B, Burzlaff H (1981) Strukturvefeiningung am talk Mg3(OH)2Si4O10. Z Kristallogr 156:177–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sanchez-Soto PJ, Wiewiora A, Aviles MA et al (1997) Talc from Puebla de Lillo, Spain. II. Effect of dry grinding on particle size and shape. Appl Clay Sci 12(4):297–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Terada K, Yonemochi E (2004) Physicochemical properties and surface free energy of ground talc. Solid State Ion 172(1–4):459–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Valdrè G, Zacchini D, Berti R et al (1999) Nitrogen sorption tests, SEM-windowless EDS and XRD analysis of mechanically alloyed nanocrystalline getter materials. Nanostruct Mater 11(6):821–829CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Dellisanti
    • 1
  • Vanna Minguzzi
    • 1
  • Giovanni Valdrè
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Geo-Environmental SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations