Published: September 30, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Slurry Mean?

Slurry is a fluid suspension of small particles in liquid. In trenchless construction, there are many methods and practices which include a slurry mixture. The use of slurry allows for the rapid movement of solid particles during the excavation process, and it is useful in applying pressure to stabilize a borehole. Bentonite is one of the more commonly used components of a slurry mixture.

Slurry is also referred to as drilling mud or drilling fluid.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Slurry

Mixed with water, drilling fluids, commonly known as slurry, are used to transport solid materials or to pressurize pockets of a borehole. Slurry tunnel boring machines take advantage of the properties of the liquid mixture to apply hydrostatic pressure to the tunnel face. The slurry is also used to transport spoil behind the machine and out of the excavation area.

The term slurry is used in a variety of fields to refer to a combination of solids with liquid. Some people use the common word “mud,” and the semi-liquid mixture could have different degrees of thickness depending on the application.

The properties of bentonite, a type of clay, make it an excellent choice for a slurry mixture. It is used both to cool and lubricate drilling tools as well as to remove spoil from the site.



drilling mud

drilling fluid

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