Celebrate National Safety Month with Minerals
A quick Google search will show you there’s always something to be celebrated or remembered any given day or month of the year. At Dicalite Management Group, we can participate in many of these designated days on the calendar, like Four Prunes Day, because of our extensive offering of minerals. This month, we’re recognizing an important initiative that impacts our employees and our consumers: National Safety Month. This month started as a way to bring attention to safety in the workplace and has since evolved into a time to improve safety at the “workplace to anyplace.” Learn how minerals can help keep you safe and how Dicalite Management Group works to keep our employees and consumers safe.
Celebrate National Safety Month with Minerals
Vermiculite is a naturally occurring magnesium aluminum-silicate mineral. As the name suggests, vermiculite dispersions are stable dispersions of vermiculite in water that are chemically exfoliated. While it has many uses, one of the most notable is it’s high-temperature resistance up to 1400°c.
MicroLite vermiculite dispersions fall into two broad categories: unformulated and formulated products. In unformulated form, they are highly heat- and flame-resistant and produce virtually no off-gassing or smoke. One of the most important uses is in fabrics ranging from kids’ pajamas to industry-specific gear.
Vermiculite dispersions can be used when manufacturing high-temperature gloves. For example, The 200 Series ZetexPlus Gloves Gloves are constructed from ZetexPlus Vermiculite Coated Fiberglass Fabric. This fabric is woven from highly texturized continuous filament fiberglass yarn and treated with a proprietary vermiculite coating. With the coating, heat disperses evenly across the surface of the fiberglass fabric, boosting its resistance to high temperatures and abrasion. Temperature ratings include:
- Operating temperatures up to 1500°F / 815°C
- Peak temperatures up to 2000°F
- Extended direct contact with temperatures around 2000°F may damage the ZetexPlus Gloves, but the user will be protected from high temperatures around 1500°F / 815°C for a longer duration.
Proximity suits are designed for exterior rescue operations and other fire situations where there are hazards and people operating in excessive temperatures within the manufacturer’s recommended operating range. Uses extend across a variety of industries, including public safety, oil and gas, welding, manufacturing, mining, and electrical. Some uses for heat-resistant equipment include:
- Flammable liquids or flammable soils that may land on garments
- Contact with or close proximity to molten metals
- Potential contact with sparks from flame cutting or welding
- Contact with open flames
- High-energy electrical discharges
- Explosion of volatile liquid or flammable gas vapors
- Ignition of combustible dusts
Aluminized clothing can also be improved with the addition of vermiculite dispersions. They are designed for high-temperature applications and provide protection against heat, sparks, and molten metal splash. In addition, those clothing helps protect the user from ambient temperatures around 200°F; temporary temperature protection is much higher. Some articles of aluminized clothing include:
- Boot covers
Vermiculite for Heat- and Fire-Resistance Products
MicroLite’s easy application and our proprietary binders allow for direct application on industrial materials to create fire-rated products. Common uses include:
- Building boards
- Fire door cores
- Encased ductwork
- Steel building elements
- Gypsum plasterboard
- Cementitious spray
- Fireproof fabrics
- Thermal textiles
- Aqueous Paint and Coating Systems
- And more
We are currently performing research that shows MicroLite can be used as a functional filler in aqueous paint and coatings systems to impart fire resistance. It is proving to be an impressive alternative to traditional products such as Mica Powder, Calcium Carbonate, and ATH. The potentials are numerous, helping paint manufacturers, formulators, and distributors provide fire-resistant products for their customers.
Automotive Fire Protection
Using flame-retardant materials is particularly important for the automotive industry where fire is a severe possibility in the event of an accident or malfunction. Friction material is any type of woven or non-woven material designed to create or facilitate a particular contact interaction between parts. In the automotive industry, that contact interaction is usually greater friction.
To function properly, friction materials must meet a number of performance standards, namely high-energy absorption requirements—which, in the case of most automotive applications, means heat resistance and a high coefficient of friction are needed. Friction materials are most frequently used in braking systems and clutches.
Both organic and inorganic high-performance materials such as polyimide, aramid, graphite, ceramic, and others have been developed for automotive applications. While each of these materials has merit in commercial automotive, friction lining, and gasket applications, no single material has been found to be adequate, and it is common practice to use a multiplicity of substances to develop such products. While vermiculite has a similar structure to exfoliated graphite, it does not oxidize and is therefore very appropriate for automotive applications.
Did you know you might have vermiculite dispersions helping keep you safe in your home? Fiberglass rope is heat resistant and withstands high temperatures, so it is often the choice for oven gasket seals. If the gasket isn’t working properly, your food will take longer to cook, your oven will use more energy, and heat will escape from the oven creating a dangerous environment for you and your family.
Fiberglass on its own can withstand high temperatures. When coated with vermiculite—a hydrated magnesium aluminum sheet silicate mineral closely related to mica—it can withstand even higher temperatures. It is a top choice as a fiberglass coating for home ovens, commercial ovens, and microwaves.
Recognizing Dicalite Management Group‘s Safety Initiatives During National Safety Month
This year, we began a new safety initiative: Absolute Zero. We are following and surpassing government guidelines to make our working environment as safe as possible. Using the current Dicalite Management Group policies and programs as the foundation, we have streamlined and simplified the process to further safety efforts to our goal of Absolute Zero accidents. It starts with the ABC’s of Safety: Always Be Careful. The goals of our program include:
- Develop a proactive safety culture for all operations
- Instill a sense of ownership and pride in safety for all phases of operations
- Reduce injury rates–become an industry leader in safety
- Unify training for all employees where practical
- Improve and maintain compliance with regulators
- Improve and maintain recordkeeping obligations
Safety Data Sheets with Each Product
Do you know how to properly use each of our products? We care greatly about the safety of our consumers and provide extensive safety data sheets for all of our mineral offerings to ensure proper use and adherence to local and federal laws. You can also use our Product Finder to discover the minerals and products for specific applications and the safety data sheets that go along with each.
Dicalite Management Group is an international industrial minerals company with a unique multi-mineral platform including perlite, vermiculite, and diatomaceous earth. We are a vertically integrated company, so the minerals you received started right with our miners. Call us today at 866-728-3303 to discuss your mineral needs.
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Our blog offers insight and information about new and exciting uses for perlite, diatomaceous earth, and vermiculite deriving from years of research and application. From passive fire resistance to mineral depth filtration, by subscribing to our mailing list, you will receive the latest information surrounding the Dicalite, Dicaperl, and Specialty Vermiculite brands and products.