Swelling 2:1 (TOT) phyllosilicates / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A smectite (from ancient Greek σμηκτός smektos 'lubricated'; σμηκτρίς smektris 'walker's earth', 'fuller's earth'; rubbing earth; earth that has the property of cleaning)[1] is a mineral mixtures of various swelling sheet silicates (phyllosilicates), which have a three-layer 2:1 (TOT) structure and belong to the clay minerals. Smectites mainly consist of montmorillonite, but can often contain secondary minerals such as quartz and calcite.[2]

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) photograph of smectite clay – magnification 23,500 – U.S. Geological Survey – Tuckup Canyon
Typical cracks pattern of a smectite-rich bentonite after its desiccation and shrinkage