Gilsonite is a naturally occurring Crude Oil Like hydrocarbon resin. According to the low density, special molecular structure, Oil content within and strength, Gilsonite is used in several industries to increase performance mostly as an additive (Oil Drilling) and in some cases to replace part of the raw materials (Bitumen Blending).
The common and known Gilsonite Applications are as below:
1- Oil Sector
1-1- Oil Drilling – As Fluid Loss Control Additive (FLC) in Oil & Water Based Muds
Gilsonite can be applied in Oil Based Muds as a FLUID LOSS ADDITIVE. Use of Gilsonite can significantly decrease the loss of Fluids inside the well. The unique composition of this mineral allows proper bonding between the components of the Oil Based Mud as well.
1-2- Oil Well Cementing – To Cement the Wellbore
Gilsonite can be pumped down the Oil well using its low density and high bituminous (binding) content for cementing the oil wells. The binding characteristics of Gilsonite help prevent cracking and zonal insolations.
1-3- Oil Drilling – As a raw material to make Sulfonated Gilsonite for Water Based Muds
Gilsonite drilling mud is one of the most important gilsonite applications. upon Sulfonating process of Gilsonite, the product becomes solvable in Water while preserving most of its unique bonding properties. Sulfonated Gilsonite assures easy mixing during the mud making and decreases the differential sticking.
2-1- Foundry Casting – Additive in Foundry Sands
To increase the quality of the finish in high value metal molding, Gilsonite acts as a superior carbon additive with Lustrous carbon content above traditional carbon additives such as Sea Coal. In addition Application of Gilsonite in Foundry double the Gas generation comparing to other additives which assists in effectiveness of Mold Release. Also Gilsonite improves adaptation to high temperature molding.
3-1- Bituminous Membranes (Bitumen Sheets) – Raw material to be used as filler
Gilsonite Use in Bituminous membranes (industrial use of Gilsonite) is basically to act as bituminous filler. The procedure provides better economics (in case Iran Gilsonite is used) comparing to substitute slurry to act as bitumen and provides a weighing factor for spreading the bitumen over the membranes during the production.
3-2- Petroleum Bitumen – Raw material to replace usage of Slurry for improving economics
Blending Gilsonite with Bitumen raw material (Slurry) is an effective way to decrease bitumen production costs where energy costs are relatively low. Using certain grades of Only Iran Gilsonite could be suitable for this purpose as most natural bitumen resources including American Gilsonite and Colombian Asphaltite are basically more expensive than slurry in any given location.
3-3- Road Paving – As an additive in Cold/Hot Mix Asphalt to increase performance
Adding Gilsonite Powder as an additive into Asphalt mix could result in better bonding between the base course and the binder course. In addition Gilsonite use improves the economics of asphalt making by decreasing the thickness of binder course.
3-4- Lake Asphalt – Special Soft natural bitumen for Paving Bridges and Airport Runways
Lake Asphalt is natural bitumen with low softening point and high ash content. Trinidad Lake Asphalt (TLA) is most popular kind for pavement of bridges and airport runways. Iran Lake asphalt has the same characteristics as TLA while it can be also applied in making additives for the asphalt industry as a raw material, considering the superior Bitumen content comparing to Trinidad Lake Asphalt.
4- Inks, Paints & Stains
Gilsonite can be used in the below applications.
4-1- Black Inks – Newspapers
4-2 Paints – As an additive for Bituminous Paints
4-3 Stains – For different finishing including Wood Jappanning