What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite is a type of clay composed of volcanic ash and is known for its unique properties, such as its high water absorption capacity and swelling ability. Bentonite is used in various industries, including construction, drilling, cosmetics, agriculture, Cattle Feed and pharmaceuticals.
The industry employs Bentonite to perform a multitude of jobs. Certain industrial applications become apparent from an understanding of the composition and structure of Bentonite and the properties they create. These properties are utilized chiefly when the material is suspended in a liquid, usually water, or as a dried powder or granule.
Most industrial applications involve the swelling property of Bentonite to form viscous water suspensions. Depending on the relative proportions of clay and water, these mixtures are bonding, plasticizing, and suspending agents.
Bentonites disperse into colloidal particles and provide large surface areas per unit weight of clay. This large surface area is a major reason bentonite functions well in stabilizing emulsions or as a medium to carry other chemicals.
Bentonites react chemically with many organic materials to form compounds used chiefly as gelling agents in various organic liquids.
Bentonites are selected for each industrial need based on type and quality. This selection is based principally on physical properties, and the chemistry of the Bentonite becomes involved only to the extent that it influences the physical properties.