The rheological and filtration properties of a Tunisian clay are presented and compared with those of Wyoming bentonite. The study was part of an evauation of Tunisian mining resources in general, and of the bentonitic deposits in particular. Qualitatively, the two clays exhibit the same rheological and filtration behaviour but quantitatively the properties of purified Wyoming bentonite are distinctly better at the same concentration. The difference can be related to the mineralogical structure and the presence of 13% illite in the Tunisian clay. Standard tests show that the rheological behaviour of the purified Tunisian clay is close to that of the raw Wyoming bentonite and conform to the American Petroluem Institute (A.P.I.) standards for medium-depth drilling formulations.

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