Gilsonite has an extremely wide range of uses; these uses have changed over time with new technology and industrial needs.It’s products are currently being widely used in water based, oil based, and synthetic based mud systems worldwide. Current uses are discussed in the following subsections…
1- Drilling Fluid Loss Control
For many years, Gilsonite has been used in the oilfield as an additive in drilling fluids. Gilsonite, in various grades and formulations, has been used to combat borehole instability problems, provide lubricity, especially in highly deviated holes, and more recently as a bridging agent to combat differential pressure sticking and provide a law invasion coring fluid.
2- Oil Sector
Gilsonite is used in drilling mud fluids and oil well cementing. This mineral, in a range of softening points and particle sizes, is a standard ingredient in oil-based drilling muds used in shales and other difficult geological formations. The addition of specially-treated Gilsonite to water-based drilling fluids helps minimize hole washout by stabilizing troublesome shales, and seals off highly permeable sands while reducing torque and drag.
3- Asphalt and Road Paving Sector
Gilsonite is used as a performance enhancing agent for asphalt mixes, achieving higher performance grades and incorporate perfectly into the asphalt blend with no need for high shear milling as is the case with many other modifiers. Gilsonite-modified asphalts have higher stability, reduced deformation, reduced temperature susceptibility and increased resistance to water stripping than non modified asphalts.
4- Foundry Sector
Gilsonite is combined with coal and other ingredients as an additive in foundry sands to insure the quality of the molded part by improving mold release and the overall finish of metal castings.
5- Chemical Products Sector
Gilsonite combines with many other chemicals and materials that take advantage of its unique physical and chemical properties. Binder and coating applications in metallurgical, wood product, refractory and other industries further demonstrate the versatility and usefulness of this remarkable material.
6- Inks and Paints Sector
Gilsonite Resin is widely used as the primary carbon black wetting agent for black news inks and headset and gravure inks. Various concentrations of Gilsonite Resin are used to manufacture law-rub-off news inks with superior gloss and tack properties. Special grades of Gilsonite called Selects are also standard ingredients in black ink formulations and are used as additives in asphaltic paints and varnishes.