Bentonite, A multi-use mineral

Bentonite is defined as a kind of absorbent clay formed by the breakdown of volcanic ash, used esp. as filler.  Bentonite clay has been gaining fame in recent years as an internal and external purifier for very good reasons. Not all Bentonite Clay is created equal; most of it is not mined for internal use or sifted as finely as it should be.

Bentonite is classified into two:

  • One is called the swelling type or Sodium Bentonite, which has single water layer particles containing “Na” as the exchangeable ion.
  • The other has double water layer particles with Ca as the exchangeable ion. It is called Calcium Bentonite or non-swelling type. “Na” or “Ca” is exchanged by “Mg” or “Fe“
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Bentonite is a natural clay.

Bentonite is a natural clay of the smectite family. The montmorillonite platelet structure within Bentonite makes it a versatile mineral. Charge imbalances are generated on the surface due to the metal replacements in the structure which are countered by the captions bound to the surface.

The individual platelets are surrounded by lattice moisture and stack together to form agglomerates.

As a result, the overall properties of a Bentonite are determined by the platelet size, number & size of charges

Good Piling Grade Bentonite
Characteristics of a good Piling Grade Bentonite
  • Covers Large Surface area
  • Has good Plasticity and Lubricity Low filter loss
  • Excellent Gel Strength
  • Good Impermeability
  • Low Compressibility
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Uses of Bentonite
  • Swelling
  • Hydration
  • Water Absorption
  • Gelling
  • Liquid Limit
  • Viscosity and Thixotropic
Drilling Grade Bentonite

The following grades of Bentonite are used for Drilling:


API 13 A Sec 9 Provides best viscosity and gelling properties.
API 13 A Sec 11
It is a viscosifier and fluid loss reducing agent for water based systems API 13A Sec 10 Grade

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Advantages to use Bentonite for Drilling
  • Cost-effective means of achieving viscosity, fluid-loss control and filter-cake
  • Retains thixotropic properties when met with brine and high temperature in deep drilling Gives high barrel yield
  • Withstands formation pressure
  • Provides lubricity for drilling fluids
  • There is very little loss of drilling fluids
Drilling Grade Bentonite: API Grade

Oil-well Drilling Industry accounts for over 30% consumption of Bentonite. Bentonite is as a mud constituent for oil- and water- well drilling.

Its role is mainly to seal the borehole walls, to remove drill cuttings and to lubricate the cutting head.

The special higher mud yield results in using less quantity of Bentonite for the same standard mud. This results in lesser requirement of Bentonite.

Major Uses:

  • To control formation pressure
  • Cooling and lubricating
  • Drill sealing
  • Sealing the borehole walls
  • Remove Drill Cutting.

 

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Bentonite Products & Applications
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IRON ORE PELLETISATION
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FOUNDRY
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DRILLING
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