Definition of Gilsonite
Gilsonite is a naturally occurring glossy black asphaltic, solid hydrocarbon resin with a low specific gravity. It occurs in its very pure natural state in a mineral called Uintaite.
Gilsonite, or Natural Asphalt is a natural, resinous hydrocarbon found in northeastern Utah. Natural Asphalt is a unique natural hydrocarbon high in asphaltenes and nitrogen compounds so it is a granular solid that is fully compatible with bitumen. It can be melted into hot bitumen, added during the hot-mix manufacturing process, or blended into a preservation treatment.
This natural asphalt is similar to a hard petroleum asphalt so it’s other names are natural asphalt, asphaltite, uintaite, or asphaltum. Gilsonite is soluble in aromatic and aliphatic solvents, as well as petroleum asphalt. Due to its unique compatibility, natural asphalt is frequently used to harden softer petroleum products. natural asphalt in mass is a shiny, black substance similar in appearance to the mineral obsidian. It is brittle and it can easily crush into a dark brown powder.
Gilsonite is below the earth’s surface in vertical veins or seams that are generally between two and six feet in width but also can be as wide as 28 feet. The veins are nearly parallel to each other and they are in orient-shape in a northwest to southeast direction. They extend many miles in length and as deep as 1500 feet. The vein will show up on the surface as a thin outcropping and gradually widen as it goes deeper. Due to the narrow mining face, natural asphalt is mined today, much like it was 50 or 100 years ago. The primary difference is that modern miners use pneumatic chipping hammers and mechanical hoists.
Applications Of Gilsonite
1. In Oil & Gas
- Drilling Fluid Loss Control
2. In industry
- Inks & Paints
- Chemical Products
- Foundry & Construction