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What is Bentonite Clay what are its features compared to regular clay

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nhl123 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:17 AM via web

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What is Bentonite Clay what are its features compared to regular clay

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llltkl | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 10, 2013 at 9:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Clay is a natural, earthy, fine-grained material, largely of a group of crystalline hydrous silicate minerals known as clay minerals. Clay minerals are composed mainly of silica, alumina, and water, but they may also contain appreciable quantities of iron, alkalies, and alkaline earths. Clay is formed by the mechanical and chemical breakdown of rocks. 

Bentonite is a clay composed primarily of smectite minerals, usually montmorillonite, and is used largely in drilling. Because of the weak linkage by cations (e.g. Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+), it exhibits high degrees of bloating/shrinking potential. Bentonite clays exhibit remarkable plasticity, justifying their principal usage in producing oil muds, in foundry sands, and in pelletizing taconite iron ores.

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