- © 2016 The Mineralogical Society
Tubular halloysite has many applications as a nanomaterial. Spheroidal halloysite (SPH) is the other most common form of halloysite. Its mode of formation has had different explanations, including association with allophane, or more generally, following weathering of volcanic glass. Some SPHs have formed from minerals in crystalline rocks, sometimes as an early stage of evolution into plates and/or tubes of halloysite and ultimately to kaolinite. Spheroidal halloysites can show a range of Fe contents and can occur with other forms of halloysite; they have often formed in confined environments whereas tubular halloysites apparently form in more open spaces. They have also formed on microbes or where there is a significant amount of organic matter. Generally, SPHs have often formed by rapid dissolution of volcanic glass and primary minerals. The SPHs can persist over time. They have few active edges, so interparticle interaction is poor, causing low viscosities in clay-water suspensions, poor soil stability and low adsorption capacities.