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What is Bentonite?

February 14, 2018

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Useful for consolidating joints, sealing spaces and holes, bentonite is an essential product in many areas such as underground drilling. In this article, you will learn more about bentonite and how you can use it better!

Components of Bentonite

Bentonite is an industrial mineral mainly composed of clay. Generated from volcanic ash, it is made up of smectite minerals, including hectorite, saponite, nonstrosite or beidelite. The most popular type of bentonite is montmorillonite. This clay was discovered for the first time in Wyoming of 1980, which is why it is commonly called Wyoming Bentonite. However, large deposits of this material have also been found in Montana and South Dakota. This particular bentonite is popular because of its unique chemistry and structure, allowing it to be functional in a wide variety of applications.

The Uses of Bentonite

When bentonite comes into contact with water, its volume can reach up to 6 times the original size. Its swelling and adhesive properties are what make it an interesting material for a wide range of applications.

Designed by extraction, even with a 30% moisture content it remains strong. Once extracted, it’s usually milled and processed before being used. One of the most common uses of bentonite is well drilling. It’s used as a mud component for drilling, which is used to seal the walls of the borehole, remove drill cuttings and lubricate the cutting head.

Other Areas where Bentonite is used:

  • Foundries: Bentonite is commonly used as a bonding material in the preparation of sand to produce steel, iron and other materials.
  • Environmental Markets: Bentonite has absorption properties that make it extremely useful for wastewater purification and is the active protective layer of geo-synthetic clay coatings.
  • Agriculture:  Commonly used as a dietary supplement for animals, bentonite also aids granulation in grain production for animals and as an element of soil improvement.
  • Pharmaceutical: This industry also takes advantage of the absorption properties by using bentonite as a filler in pharmaceuticals since it forms a paste.

Distributors of environmental drilling products, including drilling muds, polymers, PVC pipes and soil sampling supplies, Plastech Plus Inc. can guide you in selecting the products you need that work. Get our products directly online today!

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