Vermiculite is a natural mineral, a magnesium-iron-aluminium-silicate, which expands approximately 10x in volume when heated between 900 and 1200 degrees. This process of heating in which the grains are ‘inflated’, similar to making popcorn, is called expansion.
The ore is mined in various places in the world in open mines: USA, Australia, China, Russia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, etc.
The special properties of expanded vermiculite are non-combustibility and a high absorption and insulation capacity. It is precisely because of these properties that it is an important additive in the production of insulating mortars. In addition, expanded vermiculite is also used as a soil improver, absorbent, feed additive, etc.
Due to the unique properties of vermiculite, the granules are used in different sectors for different purposes.
In agriculture and horticulture, as well as for vegetable gardens, vermiculite is mainly used as:
- Soil improver
- feed additive
Vermiculite is used in the construction sector as:
- granulate for lightweight concrete
- additive in fire-resistant cement and gypsum plasters
- filler for the core of fire-resistant doors
In the industrial sector, vermiculite is used as:
- packaging material - shock-absorbing and absorbent - for corrosive and highly flammable chemicals
- absorbent for spilled liquids