Summary: Kerolites from Goles Mountain (Yugoslavia), Wiry (Poland), Madison Co. (North Carolina), and Kremze (Czechoslovakia) are compared with talc and stevensite. Chemical analyses give a composition for kerolite near R3Si4O10(OH)2.nH2O with R mainly Mg and n about 0·8–1·2. Infra-red data and dehydration-rehydration experiments suggest that the additional water is partly surface-held hydrogen-bonded molecular water, lost up to about 300 °C and easily recoverable, and ‘water’ held as surface hydroxyls, lost at temperatures up to about 650 °C and less easily recoverable. The surface area of kerolite from North Carolina by nitrogen absorption measurements is 196 m2/g.
X-ray data show broad basal reflections, a basal spacing (after Lorentz-polarization correction) of about 9·6 Å and a crystallite size of about five structural layers, which is consistent with the large surface area. Two-dimensional hk bands indicate a randomly stacked layer structure with b ≈ 9·14 Å and a crystallite ‘diameter’ of about 150 Å. The basal spacing shows no expansion in water and no thermal contraction up to 500°C. A partial and irregular swelling with ethylene glycol is obtained only after prolonged cxposure (several weeks). In both respects, kerolites differ from stevensite. Kerolites come close to talc in structure and composition but differ in having a highly random layer arrangement, a slightly enlarged basal spacing, which could be due to misfit of layers caused by random stacking, and weaker interlayer bonding.
Kerolite is considered to be a useful varietal name for this talc-like mineral in agreement with the views of D'yakonov and of Maksimovic. It cannot be defined as serpentine + stevensite.