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Drilling Bentonite, Civil Bentonite
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What is Bentonite?
Bentonite is a highly colloidal clay mineral decomposition of volcanic ash, having the ability to absorb large quantities of water and to expand to several times its normal volume, gets its name from the place where its presence and usages were first discovered – Fort Benton, America.
Bentonite, sometimes refer as sometimes referred to as Montmorrilonite is a naturally occurring substance, composed of a number of layers, each approximately 10 angstroms thick, and each consisting of two tetrahedral and one octahedral unit. This structure is responsible for three important characteristics, the ability to absorb large amounts of moisture, the ability to exchange ions and thixotropic gel formation.
Bentonite is naturally occurring hydrated Alumina Silicate, there are two main varieties, calcium and sodium, where sodium Bentonite is the more commercially important. Calcium Bentonite deposits are much more common than sodium Bentonite deposits. However, calcium Bentonite can be changed to sodium Bentonite by the ion exchange process. 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.The clay-water characteristics are of primary importance. The chemical composition of the Bentonite is a consideration only because changes in physical properties accompany changes in chemical composition. Sodium Bentonite swells or expands to a greater degree than its calcium equivalent. Small percentage of cation exchange sites are occupied by another ion, such as calcium, a state is developed in the clay which promotes both optimum swelling and fastest hydration. Sodium Bentonite has higher swelling capacity, this property develops higher viscosity in suspensions, greater state of disaggregation, formation of smaller clay particles or greater colloidal properties.
Bentonite, very fine grind material mostly composite by clay mineral, especially montmorrilonite which chemically describe as hydrous alumina-silicate which contain small amounts of alkali and alkali -earth metals.
Montmorrilonite is made of two basic building blocks of alumina octahedral sheet and one silica tetrahedral sheet.
Single unit call as “TOT” structure and between “TOT” there are space which is for alkaline ion and can be exchange and the Ion exchange capacity of montmorrilonite comes from this.
Montmorrilonite able to absorb water when comes contract with, the water absorption occurs while the H+ ion exchange with alkali ion and resulting increasing in volume more specifically the water comes at the space between two TOT.
The property of water absorption is makes bentonite suitable for various industries and the types of montmorrilonite decide the final usage and the process of the same.
The greatest application of bentonite in industries is the result of its swelling property, while combine with water able to perform multitude jobs. The sodium bentonite having more water absorption capacity makes it suitable for industries like Foundry and Civil engineering application and the calcium bentonite absorb lesser than Sodium still it has some special application like cosmetics, paper, Animal feed binder as many more to describe.
The future of bentonite would be more interesting than it is, scientist are trying to play with the structure of this natural material and makes it to suitable to absorb ultraviolet rays, radiation form atomic reaction and many more thing which makes our life more simple and more suitable for this complicate universe.
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