MicroLite is produced by the synthesized delamination – or chemical exfoliation – of vermiculite. It is available as both a free-flowing dry powder and as aqueous colloidal dispersions. The vermiculite dispersions fall into two broad categories: unformulated and formulated products.
“Synthesized delamination” or (chemically exfoliated) of vermiculite is achieved through surface treatment of the crystal structure with simple salt elements causing a cation exchange that breaks the bond between the minor magnesium and silicon elements of the crystal structure weakening the crystal structure sufficiently enough to cause separation of the platelets. These elements are measured in parts per million and are a natural, none hazardous occurrence found in many naturally occurring minerals and some are essential minerals such as magnesium.
The unformulated products consist only of vermiculite and water. They are highly heat- and flame-resistant and produce virtually no off-gassing or smoke. In addition, these products are salt-free, and therefore are ideal for use in end products where corrosion is a concern.
The formulated dispersions possess most of the same benefits outlined by the unformulated dispersions, but also include additives to provide improved performance in areas such as adhesion, flexibility, and/or color and dyeability.
The MicroLite powder consists of inorganic, high aspect ratio vermiculite platelets formed by the chemical exfoliation of vermiculite. It is a free-flowing, dispersible powder that makes an excellent additive to coatings or composites where improved heat, fire resistance, and/or reinforcing stability are needed. The microscopic vermiculite platelets in MicroLite Powder are natural film formers. Therefore, they bind to one another in use improving end product structural integrity while providing a “tortuous path” to improve barrier properties.
How can MicroLite® be used?
Because of the many unique features of this product, MicroLite offers numerous benefits when used as films, fillers, coatings, and binders.
Heat & fire resistance
The vermiculite platelets that make MicroLite are inorganic, so MicroLite can be used as a high-temperature coating, binder, or filler in construction materials, gaskets, specialty papers, and high-temperature textiles. The addition of Microlite imparts fire-resistance and upgrades the service temperature of the end product.
Coatings of vermiculite on fiberglass textiles have been shown to increase the service temperatures up to 1100°C. These materials have found use in applications including safety fabrics, safety clothing, and thermal insulation.
MicroLite’s easy application and our proprietary binders allow for direct application on fabrics and other industrial materials to provide a fire-rated material.
Have you seen thermal blankets marketed as fire-resistant? They may be coated with Microlite!
An oxidation resistant coating on carbon-based composites
The heat resistance properties make it ideal for use as a coating on carbon/graphite materials to minimize oxidation when exposed high temperatures.
High-temperature binder or barrier material
The strong, multi-layer films of MicroLite dispersions function as high-temperature binders and also enhance the sealability of end products, such as gaskets or packing materials.
Protective coating or sizing for glass fibers
MicroLite’s extremely thin platelets encapsulate glass fibers with a protective film to prevent fraying or to reduce abrasion caused by glass.
Gas impermeable membrane
Extremely high aspect ratios can be used as a barrier coating on films.
MicroLite’s easy application and proprietary binders allow for direct application on fabrics and other industrial materials to provide a fire-rated material. Coatings of Microlite on fiberglass textiles have been shown to increase the service temperatures up to 1100°F. You’ll notice in the video that despite temperatures immediately increasing above 1100°F, the flame did not break through the Microlite coated fiberglass mat. The protection of the Microlite coating is clear as the back thermocouple stays well below 1100°F after 90 seconds of continuous burning. Have you seen clothes and other thermal textiles, like blankets, marketed as fire-resistant? They may be coated with Microlite.
Is there anything else MicroLite® Vermiculite Dispersions can be used for?
There are many custom uses for MicroLite, including patents that show it is being used for applications like sound-deadening insulation and thermal and moisture barriers for aircraft paneling. This highly customized vermiculite dispersion is offered in a wide variety of viscosities and solids. As North America’s only producer of vermiculite dispersions, we take pride in our product offering and recognize the need for our customer’s and prospect’s technical requirements. Because of this, Microlite is highly customizable and can be tailored to your customer’s needs.
Learn more about this incredible vermiculite product line by downloading the free resources below, or Inquiry today to set up your technical review with this one-of-a-kind dispersion.