Bentonite: Industrial Applications

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Top 7 Uses of Bentonite

Knowing the composition and structure of bentonite, as well as the properties that result from it, reveals several industrial applications. These properties are primarily used when the substance is suspended in a liquid (typically water), or when it is in the form of a dry powder or granules.

Sodium Bentonite can absorb up to ten times its weight in water and swell to 18 times its dry volume. 

These swelling properties of bentonite are used in the majority of industrial applications to form viscous aqueous suspensions. These mixtures act as binders, plasticizers, and suspending agents depending on the relative proportions of clay and water. This article reads about the Industrial applications of Bentonite around the world.

Bentonite Industrial Application

Physical Properties of Bentonite that makes it so effective in Industrial Applications 

  1. Excellent colloidal  properties 
  2. Whenever it comes into contact with water, it expands.
  3. Water absorptions 
  4. Viscosity is high 
  5. Highly plasticity
  6. Thixotropy 

The following are some Industrial Applications of Bentonite  

Bentonite Application  in Piling Industry 

Bentonite greatly helps in preserving the quality of concrete in the substrate foundation, without the use of bentonite, soil particles can mix with the poured concrete, resulting in low-quality concrete.  To reduce drilling friction, bentonite is used as a lubricant for piling machinery and hammers. 

Bentonite In Piling Industry

Bentonite Application in Construction and Civil Engineering

Bentonite is typically used as a thixotropic support, and lubricant agent in diaphragm walls and foundations, tunneling, horizontal directional drilling  (HDD)  pipe jacking in civil engineering applications like constructing tunnels and sealing and lubricating cracks in pipes. Since it has viscosity and plasticity, it is also used in cement concrete and mortars. 

Civil Engineering

Adding Bentonite in Cat Litter and Animal Feed

Bentonite has unique water absorption, swelling, and odor–controlling properties, bentonite is ideal for use in cat litter.

Bentonite is useful as a toxin in the preparation of animal feed, a binder in pelleting processes, and a food additive.  It stimulates growth and acts as a toxin scavenger. 

Cat Litter

Bentonite Applications in Drilling Mud  Industry  

Bentonite is a common drilling mud. It is combined with water to create a slurry, which is pumped through the drill string and out the drill bit.  Drilling mud cools and lubricates the drill bit, and because of its high viscosity and yield strength, it extracts drill cuttings and transports them to the surface, as well as helping to seal the drill hole and prevent wall cave-ins. 

Bentonite for Drilling

Bentonite For Drill Holes And Earthing Projects  

Bentonite is used to fill and seal drill holes that have been abandoned. Similarly, bentonite has been used as grout and sealing other waterways such as ponds, irrigation canals, reservoirs, and industrial lagoons. Because of its high water absorption capacity as well as high swelling potential, bentonite is suitable for sealing liners in the earth, construction, waste deposits, water engineering, and lakes.

Bentonite for Pipes

 Bentonite Applications in Iron Ore Palletizing Industry  

Bentonite clay expands and becomes sticky when it comes into contact with water.  This property enables it to be used effectively as a binder in the production of pellets from an iron ore concentrate.  Pellets are iron-made balls that are used as feed material in the production of iron.  And are used in the allocation of blast furnaces and the production of electrometallurgical products. 

Iron ore Pellets

Also, Read the article on Bentonite in Construction  

Bentonite Applications in the Paper Industry 

The high surface area of bentonite, combined with its unique properties makes it ideal for a variety of applications in the paper industry. Bentonite is used in retention systems as well as stickies and pitch control.  It contributes to the improvement of the loop water treatment, which reduces water consumption. 

Paper industry

The applications of Bentonite in several industries are expected to expand in the coming years as demand rises for green molding, casting processes, oil drilling, pelletizing, and cat litter applications. 

Noora is a writer and Management representative at Sepico

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