Clay vs. Silt

The main features of clay are specific as they are plastic and cohesive at the same time. You are not able to see the Clay particles through naked eye because they are very small in size. You need to have a powerful microscope in order to see the clay particles. Normally, they are mainly composed of tiny plates or flake like structures. In the field of electrochemically, clay minerals are very active. The soil which contains lots of clay particles is known as heavy or dense soil. On the other side of the coin, the silt is basically a soil that is fine grained. This sort of soil is little in size that contains no plasticity. There are two types of clays known organic silt and inorganic silt.

What is Clay?

When you check the clay in dry condition, you will find that it feels like the concrete. The importance of the clay is at the top in the soil mechanics due to the prime reason that the clay is able to alter the chemistry of the given soil that will ultimately results in changing the behavior of that soil. The use of the clay minerals is very common in order to make or mould the desired shapes and statues. The area which is rich of clay makes the movement of plant roots, air and water difficult particularly if it is wet.

What is Silt?

You will find very less holes in the silt which results in making the drainage of water very slow. The main structure of the silt is generally comprised of finer particles of quartz and silica. Another quality of Silts is moisture sensitive which means that a very tiny alteration in the wetness will be responsible for great change in dry density. Basically, Silt is granular in nature the size of which is less than sand but greater than clay.

Key Differences between Clay and Silt

  1. A huge difference in sizes of both the clay and silt can be observed easily since the Clay particles are much lesser in size as compared to the silt particles.
  2. When you see the presence of Clay in the soil, then it is a sure thing that this soil is full of clay minerals. But the soil containing the silts does not have clay minerals.
  3. Clay is much smoother while comparing it with the silt.
  4. In the wet condition, the surface texture of the silt is silky and slimy when you touch it. Clay will show a sticky and plastic-like behavior when it is wet.
  5. It is an observable fact that the dry strength of clay is larger than the silts in most of the circumstances.
  6. In order to dry density of the clay, the use of energy is effective. On the contrary, if you wish to dry density of the silt then the utilization of the moisture is better.
  7. Dilation of clay is less than that of silt.
  8. Toughness of silt is smaller than clay.

Video Explanation

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