Bentonite in civil engineering applications is used traditionally as a thixotropic, support and lubricant agent in diaphragm walls and foundations, in tunnelling, in horizontal directional drilling and pipe jacking. Bentonite, due to its viscosity and plasticity, also is used in Portland cement and mortars.
Bentonite finds its use construction mostly in a fluidic (commonly called as bentonite slurry) form because of its rheological characteristics (i.e. their behaviour as bentonite slurries when mixed with water).
Bentonite as well as bentonite-base suspensions are widely used in a wide range of construction works:
- Tunneling, including for the metro
- Construction of facilities using the “Slurry wall” method
- Construction piling, sealing hydraulic barriers
- Sealing cracks and filling voids, including during the construction of Hydropower plants
- Waterproofing for the construction of foundations
- Construction (installation) of waterproofing screens
- Reduction the hardness of building materials