Intercalates formed by contacting the layer material, e.g., a phyllosilicate, with an intercalant polymer to sorb or intercalate the polymer between adjacent platelets of the layered material. Sufficient intercalant polymer is sorbed between adjacent platelets to expand the adjacent platelets to a spacing of at least about 50 .ANG. (as measured after water removal to a maximum of 5% by weight water), up to about 100 .ANG. and preferably in the range of about 10-45 .ANG., so that the intercalate easily can be exfoliated into individual platelets. The intercalated complex is combined with an organic liquid into an unexpectedly viscous carrier material, for delivery of the carrier material, or for delivery of an active compound, e.g., a pharmaceutical, or cosmetic, or lubricant, e.g., food guide lubricants dissolved or dispersed in the carrier material. Alternatively, the intercalated complex can be exfoliated prior to combination with the organic liquid.