bentonite chips used in building foundation

Bentonite Chip FAQs

From waterproofing building foundations to sealing abandoned wells, bentonite chips have several applications in commercial, industrial, and residential sectors.


As one of the reputed bentonite chip suppliers in Grande Prairie, D W Jensen Drilling Ltd. has addressed some frequently asked questions in this blog post.

Frequently Asked Questions on Bentonite Chips


If you have any questions about them or are wondering about their suitability for your project, read on:


1. What are bentonite chips?
Bentonite chips are manufactured from premium high swelling natural sodium bentonite, a naturally occurring hydrated alumina silicate. They are regarded as one of the best sealant materials due to their higher swelling capacity, low permeability, seal-healing characteristics and durability. They are mostly used to seal landfills as they form a permanent, flexible, and non-toxic seal upon coming into contact with water.


2. How bentonite chips work?
Bentonite chips transform into a gel-like mass as soon as they come into contact with water. Once they get wet, the chips create an impermeable barrier between the porous soil on one side and the water on the other. Due to this, it becomes possible to control the seepage.


3. Is bentonite harmful for the environment?
Bentonite is a non-irritating and non-toxic inorganic compound that is found on the ground. As a naturally occurring product, it contains several traces of minerals and elements. It is also considered safe for the environment.


4. What is bentonite waterproofing?
This method forms a protective barrier between wet soil and the building foundation. It absorbs and expels water, acids, and salts. Bentonite can be used under structural or non-structural concrete floor slabs. It can also be used on below-grade foundation walls, between and under slab applications.


5. Uses of bentonite chips
These can be used for:

  • Sealing all types of mineral exploration holes, seismic shot holes, well abandonment, well sealing, etc.
  • Sealing irrigation ditch leaks and animal stock tanks
  • Sealing all types of piezometers
  • Providing an intermediate seal for preventing inter-aquifer transfer
  • Sealing the upper most aquifer and preventing entrance of surface water into the aquifer
  • Maintaining artesian head and aquifer yield
  • Installation of underground electrical equipment along with grounding rods

6. What are the features of bentonite?

Some of the attributes of bentonite chips are:

  • Better setting characteristics due to enhanced hardness and density
  • Swells up to 15 times its dry volume upon coming into contact with fresh water
  • Exceptionally slow swelling rate
  • Volumetric swell of 8-15 per cent
  • Moisture content of 8 to 15 per cent
  • Does not shrink or crack with time
  • Non-polluting and non-toxic
  • Cost effective
  • Chemically stable
  • pH level of 7.9-8.6
  • A minimum montmorillonite content of 90 per cent
  • Dry bulk density of 1109 kg/m3 (69.25 lbs/ft3)

7. Where to buy bentonite chips?

If you are considering buying bentonite chips in Grande Prairie, you can rely on D W Jensen Drilling Ltd. for high-quality products.


We sell bentonite chips in medium sizes: 3/8 inch. We deliver them in prepackaged chubs or bags. A lot of effort and care goes into ensuring we supply nothing less than excellent quality. To place an order or learn more about our products, contact us.


8. What are the benefits of buying bentonite chips from D W Jensen Drilling Ltd.?


By buying bentonite chips from D W Jensen Drilling Ltd., you get:

  • Hallmark data provided, along with the product
  • High quality swelling-type bentonite
  • Utmost integrity of the chips
  • A wide range of variety and sizes to choose from
  • Prepacked chubs and bags delivered to your doorstep

From starting as a seismic drilling company in 1976 to providing a wide range of products and services, we have come a long way in the last 43 years. We are members of the Canadian Geophysical Association, Compliance World, and ISNetworld and have received several awards for our commitment to safety.


We also provide various other services including water hauling, track rental, ice road building and geotechnical engineering. To learn more, visit our page or call us at 780-357-9004.


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