Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. The different types of bentonite are each named after the respective dominant element, such as potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), and aluminium (Al).
The main uses of bentonite are for drilling mud, binder (e.g. foundry-sand bond, iron ore pelletizer), purifier, absorbent (e.g. pet litter), and as a groundwater barrier. 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. The bentonite in the flush fluid lubricates and cools the cutting tools while protecting against corrosion. As the drilling fluid generates hydrostatic pressure in the borehole, it hinders fluid and gas penetration. The drilling liquid conveys the drill cuttings to the surface. When the purge pumps have idle periods, the thixotrophy of the bentonite hinders the stone material from dropping back into the drilled shaft.
There are two basic types of Bentonite, Sodium type and Calcium type:
- Sodium Bentonite: Because of its high absorbency and clumping tendency, Sodium Bentonite is useful as a sealant. It is considered a safe, natural, nontoxic and inexpensive treatment for porous soils. Its swelling capacity gives Sodium Bentonite the ability to bond with soil and create and impenetrable barrier. Sodium Bentonite is also used for mud drilling, clumping cat litter, and as a bonding agent for feeds, medicines and cosmetics. Currently, Sodium Bentonite is being investigated as an absorbing agent to remove E-Coli bacteria from food.
- Calcium Bentonite: Calcium Bentonite is referred to as “living clay” because of the belief found in many cultures that it is useful as a medicine. The practice of geophagy or “earth eating” is centered on the belief that some clays such as Calcium Bentonite is able to be safely ingested for the absorption and removal of toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. Geophagy is known to have been practiced by some Indigenous peoples of Australia and Africa. The modern alternative healthcare industry uses Calcium Bentonite extensively for internal and external toxin removal that is believed to be based on ion exchange. Consult your doctor if you are considering ingestion of any non-food substance.
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Ishtar Company is able to supply Iranian Bentonite (API Standard) at competitive price.