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Bentonite is used in drilling fluids to lubricate and cool the cutting tools, to remove cuttings, and to help prevent blowouts. Much of bentonite’s usefulness in the drilling and geotechnical engineering industry comes from its unique rheological properties. Relatively small quantities of bentonite suspended in water form a viscous, shear-thinning material. Most often, bentonite suspensions are also thixotropic, although rare cases of rheopectic behavior have also been reported. At high enough concentrations (about 60 grams of bentonite per litre of suspension), bentonite suspensions begin to take on the characteristics of a gel (a fluid with a minimum yield strength required to make it move). So, it is a common component of drilling mud used to curtail drilling fluid invasion by its propensity for aiding in the formation of mud cake.

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16 m3/tone (min) Yield point
15ml (max) Water loss
10% (max) Moisture
2 w.t % (max) Residue on ASTM sieve No: 100 (dry method)
2.5 w.t % (max) Residue on ASTM sieve No: 200 (water method)


Viscometer Dial, 600 rpm 30 (min)
Yield Point/ Plastic Viscosity Ratio 3 (max)
Filtrate Volume 15 ml (max)
Residue Greater than 75 µm 4%w (max)

Bentonite: (steel industry)

Wate absorption (plate test method) 600%w (min)
Moisture 6%w (max)
Residue on ASTM sieve No:325 20%w (max)

Bentonite: (Casting)

Chemical composition Sodium bentonite
Gelling (after 24 hours) 26-30%w
Swelling factor (2g) 26-34cm3
pH 11-Aug
Methylene blue absorption 75%w (min)
Moisture 10%w
Sinter point 1100 (0°C)
Loss on Ignition (LOI) 9%w
Green compressive strength 750-950 g/cm2
Green Tensile strength 17-20 g/cm2
Residue on ASTM Sieve No.200 7-10%w



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