Soil scientists, geologists, and technologists involved in the fields of ceramics, paper making, and oil exploration and production are often faced with the effects of fluid composition on the bulk
properties of clay-solution systems. These properties are determined by the forces acting between individual clay particles, which depend on solution composition and type of clay. In this introduction to the colloid
chemistry of clay-fluid systems, it is shown how these interaction forces as well as their effect on bulk properties can be evaluated. At the same time, guidelines are developed for adjusting bulk properties as required
for a given application by modifying the composition of the solution phase.