Bentonite; a key mineral for a variety of applications | LKAB Minerals

Here at LKAB Minerals, we process and trade a multitude of different minerals for a wide range of applications. The role of industrial minerals in day-to-day life is not common knowledge, so through a series of articles, we will highlight the key minerals utilised in essential applications.

Day-to-day use of Bentonite

Bentonite is an important clay mineral commonly used in some essential everyday end-use applications:

LKAB is one of the world’s largest consumers of Bentonite products, as one of the main components in the production of Iron Ore Pellets. These pellets go on to make high-quality steel around the world.

Bentonite production and resource

The Bentonite raw materials we use to produce our different grades of powdered products are all sourced from recognised deposits of both Mediterranean and USA origins. These specific sources are well known and are proven to be of the highest quality and consistency.

LKAB Minerals has extensive processing capabilities using modern production facilities housed in our factories located in Derby and Stockton on Tees, UK.

Foundries

Our customers use Bentonite extensively as a binder in the production of cast iron, steel, and non-ferrous castings. These products are used in the manufacture of many cars, trucks, military, mining, construction, general engineering, and municipal parts for everyday use.

Our foundry grade raw materials have excellent thermal stability and have an ability to generate high levels of physical strength properties in a recirculating green moulding sand system.

Custom-made solutions and support

We can custom modify our Foundry Bentonite products with essential additives through our processing operation. Therefore, we are able to meet the particular technical needs of individual customers.

We fully support our foundry customers with both on-site technical assistance and independent moulding sand analysis. We do this through our fully equipped laboratory facility located alongside our Bentonite processing operation.

White Bentonite

We supply white Bentonite products that are rich in Montmorillonite and of a high whiteness value. Our processing locations have the capabilities to achieve very fine particle sizes below 53microns. Our white material grades have excellent swelling properties. Water-based paint manufacturers use it extensively. For this application, Bentonite is particularly used for its rheological properties. The rubber industry uses the bentonite anti-tack product as a suspension aid. In paper production, our customers use it as both, a retention and a drainage aid.

If you would like to find out more about Bentonite, you can contact our colleague Glyn Thomas.