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Friction coefficient and frictional stability (rate & state parameter) data for triaxially compressed direct shear experiments on kaolinite-rich china clay and Mg-montmorillonite fault gouges (<2micron grain size). A total of 19 raw experimental datasets are presented as detailed in the index files: 13 on kaolinite-rich china clay, and 6 on cation-exchanged Mg-Montmorillonite. The raw data files, logged at either 1 or 2Hz, comprise confining pressures, upstream and downstream fluid pressures, force experienced by the direct shear assembly during triaxial compression, and absolute volumes of the confining pressure and fluid pressure reservoirs. Data is provided as measured by gauges in the pressure vessel in Volts, and also as calculated in MPa, kN and mm3. Also presented are the outputs of MATLAB models run to simulate the rate and state parameters k, a, b, dc and f0 for each experiment, with error data presented as 2sigma and standard error values. Parameters were determined using a non-linear least-squares fitting routine with the machine stiffness treated as a fitting parameter (c.f. Noda and Shimamoto, 2009). Data were fit by a single set of state variables (a, b, dc) with a linear detrend. Also presented are the outputs of Specific Thermogravimetric Analyses on kaolinite-rich china clay and Mg-montmorillonite.