Advantages of Vermiculite for Fire Resistance

Ensuring a Safe End Result

Fire protection is a critical factor in many industries, including construction, manufacturing, and automotive. Producing heat- and fire-resistant materials is not only an important safety measure, but the type of material used can become an environmental issue as well. This is why there are many advantages of using naturally occurring vermiculite for fire resistance. Learn why this mineral is safe for the user and the environment.

What is Vermiculite?

Vermiculite is a natural hydrous phyllosilicate mineral that expands when heated. When the water trapped in the mineral structure turns into steam, it transforms into an accordion-like shape that makes an excellent insulator. Some of the beneficial properties of vermiculite include:

  • Lightweight: Makes it easy to handle and install in various applications.
  • Non-toxic: It doesn’t release harmful gasses when exposed to flames, making it safe for use in buildings.
  • Environmentally friendly: As a naturally occurring mineral, it’s a more eco-friendly choice for fire protection.
  • Retains moisture. In the event of a fire, this has a cooling effect and helps prevent a rise in temperature.

Because of these factors, vermiculite can enhance safety and performance in both residential and industrial settings.

Vermiculite for Fire Resistance Applications

In addition to its lightweight, non-toxic makeup, vermiculite also has excellent thermal insulation properties. When mixed with other materials, vermiculite can create a fire-resistant barrier that withstands high temperatures. This makes it ideal for applications where fire protection is essential, such as in building construction, industrial furnaces, and the automotive industry.

Here are some of the ways vermiculite has been used for fire protection:

  1. Insulation. It can be used as loose-fill insulation or mixed with other materials, such as cement, to create a fireproof building board or plaster that’s applied to walls, ceilings, and floors.
  2. Spray: Create a vermiculite-based, low pressure spray by mixing the mineral with gypsum or another binder. Apply to steel beams and columns to prevent fire damage. These sprays create a thick, insulating layer that slows down the transfer of heat.
  3. Container: When storing flammable materials, its insulating properties help contain heat and prevent fires from spreading.

Using Vermiculite Safely

While vermiculite is generally safe to use, there are still some precautions to take as with any insulation material.

  • Wear protective gear. Gloves, a mask, and goggles are recommended to avoid inhaling dust particles and skin contact.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep away from children and pets.
  • Store in a secure location.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines to help ensure you are using the product safely and effectively.

You can also use Dicalite’s MicroLite, a water-based fire-resistant coating that provides a safe, environmentally friendly method of improving the heat and fire resistance of materials. Our MicroLite Vermiculite Dispersions can be used for fire resistance in a number of applications, such as:

  • Aircraft paneling
  • Fire-resistant fabrics
  • Packing materials
  • Thermal insulation

Our sales and technical services team work closely together to ensure you are getting the right product for the right project. Contact us to speak with a knowledgeable representative and to request a sample today.

Join Our Mailing List

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.

Join Our Mailing List

Harvest Hero: Growing Media & Soil AmendmentsShop Today