Characteristics of a Bentonite Slurry as a Sealant

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Courtesy of ASTM International

Many of the technologies that relate to groundwater use bentonite slurries. The results of a laboratory investigation aimed at determining the characteristics of a bentonite slurry as a sealant are presented herein. Slurry indicator tests were used to determine the physical characteristics of the slurry, and performance tests, such as hydraulic conductivity and model tests, were conducted to evaluate the behavior of the slurry as a sealant. The results indicate that the final success of a bentonite sealant depends on its structural stability and the characteristics of the filter cake it generates. A bentonite slurry with some formation cuttings such as sand provides a sealant superior to a pure slurry. Sealing behavior of a slurry is related to its bentonite content; however, this relationship is not one of monotonical increase and there is an optimum bentonite content. The variety of indicator tests used were useful; however, filtration properties appear to be the most appropriate indicator of sealing

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