GELITE High-Yield Clay | SLB


High-yield clay

Schlumberger Oilfield Services

GELITE high-yield clay is a premium-grade saponite, a clay mineral of the montmorillonite family, that has low grit and is specially ground for the drilling industry. This clay has a high yield point, which enables a higher carrying capacity at lower annular velocities compared with bentonite clay. Typical concentrations range from 5 to 35 lbm/bbl [14.25 to 99.75 kg/m3].

Similar to the bentonite products, the yield decreases as water salinity increases. In muds containing more than 10,000 mg/L chlorides (Cl), the performance of GELITE clay is significantly reduced unless prehydrated in freshwater before being added to the mud system.

Typical Physical Properties
Color White
Odor Odorless
Physical state Powder
Specific gravity 2.0–2.4
Moisture 8% maximum
Residue, +200 mesh wet screen 3%

Normally composed of clay agglomerates or limestone.


  • Water-based and direct emulsion drilling fluids


  • Enables higher carrying capacity at lower velocities
  • Increases viscosity and reduces fluid loss
  • Has a low cation exchange capacity when swelling
  • Imparts thixotropy to aqueous solutions
  • Provides superior filtration characteristics due to its special grit, and unique shape
  • Achieves viscosity, filtration control, and filtercake quality in cost-effective manner


  • High yield point
  • Better stability than bentonite viscosifier because of its much lower cation exchange capacity
Typical Rheological Properties, Fresh Water
Yield, bbl/tonUS [m3/tonUK] 110 [19.65]
Yield point, lbm/100 ft [kg/30 m] 32 [14.51]
Plastic viscosity, cP 4
Viscosity, cP 40
Water loss, cm3 3

Fann Viscometer dial reading at 600 rpm.


GELITE clay performance is reduced in salty or hard waters with greater than 10,000-mg/L Clor greater than 240-mg/L Ca2+ due to decreased hydration.

Toxicity and handling

Bioassay information is available upon request. Handle as an industrial chemical, wearing protective equipment and observing the precautions as described in the safety data sheet.

Packaging and storage

GELITE clay is packaged in 50-lbm [22.7-kg] multiwall paper sacks. It is also available in bulk. Store in a dry, well-ventilated area. Keep container closed. Store away from incompatibles. Follow safe warehousing practices regarding palletizing, banding, shrink-wrapping, and stacking.