Bentonite Slurry

Bentonite is an absorbent clay often used by utility contractors in the horizontal drilling and geotechnical engineering industry.  Small quantities of bentonite suspended in water form a viscous, shear thinning material often referred to as bentonite slurry.  At high enough concentrations bentonite suspensions begin to take on the characteristics of a gel. For these reasons 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.

Bentonite is also used in the construction of slurry walls.  A slurry wall is a type of wall used to build tunnels and to lay foundations in areas where soft earth is too close to open water or areas with high ground water tables.  For instance, slurry wall construction was used to construct the "bathtub" that surrounded most of the World Trade Center site.

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