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II Natural Mineral Based Particulate Fillers

Calcium Carbonate Fillers

7

Roger Rothon and Chris Paynter

Contents

Definition........................................................................................ 150

Introduction...................................................................................... 150

Basic Properties Relevant to Filler Applications............................................... 151

Ground (Natural) Calcium Carbonates (GCC)................................................. 151

GCC Production................................................................................. 152

GCC Specification............................................................................... 153

Polymer Applications of GCCs............................................................. 153

Thermoplastics............................................................................... 154

Thermosets................................................................................... 155

Elastomers.................................................................................... 155

Precipitated Calcium Carbonates (PCCs)....................................................... 156

PCC in Polymers................................................................................ 158

Environmental Impact and Sustainability of GCC and PCC Production...................... 158

Future Direction................................................................................. 159

Cross-References................................................................................ 160

References....................................................................................... 160

Abstract

Calcium carbonate fillers have ideal properties for many polymer applications and the world consumption is over ten million tonnes annually. Both natural (ground (natural) calcium carbonates, GCC) and synthetic forms are in use and can be derived from abundant and widely occurring natural deposits. The natural

R. Rothon (*)

Rothon Consultants and Manchester e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

C. Paynter

Imerys Carbonates - Global Researc

Marietta, GA, USA

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Rothon Consultants and Manchester Metropolitan University, Guilden Sutton, Chester, UK e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

C. Paynter

Imerys Carbonates - Global Research and Development, Carbonates Global Technology Center, © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

R. Rothon (ed.), Fillers for Polymer Applications, Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-28117-9_35

forms are available with a wide particle-size range (0.5 to over 100 pm), are less expensive to manufacture, and have the bulk of the market. They are widely used in thermoplastics, thermosets, and elastomers. The synthetic (precipitated) forms used in polymer applications fall into the nano-size range (under 100 nm) and are used where such small particles are beneficial. Their main use is in elastomers and PVC. Fatty acid surface coatings are often added and there are also specialized coupling agents available.

Ground (natural) calcium carbonates (GCC) is a critical and functional mineral for plastics, and there is no doubt that it will continue to be one of the principal fillers used by the polymer industry. While GCC fillers are long established, they continue to evolve. Developments in grinding are likely to result in even finer forms and increased opportunities. Examples of recent developments include an innovative mineral additive for fibers and nonwovens from Imerys known as FiberLink®. FiberLink increases softness, reduces luster, improves opacity, and improves tensile strength of the fabric/web.

Keywords

Calcium carbonate • Elastomers • Filler • Ground calcium carbonate • Ploymers • Precipitated calcium carbonate • Thermoplastics • Thermosets

Definition

Calcium carbonate is the chemical compound CaCO3 and occurs widely in nature. Calcium carbonate fillers are finely divided forms of this chemical and are derived from various mineral sources. As such they usually contain significant levels of other materials, especially magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) and dolomite (CaCO3. MgCO3). They are one of the most widely used fillers in all types of polymer and can be either natural or synthetic in origin. The natural forms are often referred to by the acronym GCC (ground (natural) calcium carbonates) and the synthetic ones as PCC (precipitated calcium carbonate).

Introduction

Calcium carbonate is one of the principal mineral fillers used in polymer applications, with the world consumption being over ten million tonnes annually. It is an abundant natural material; with ideal properties for use as a filler in all types of polymer. It occurs in large, relatively pure, deposits, close to the surface and easily mined. It is nontoxic, with good color, and also relatively soft and easily milled down to a fine size.

There are three different crystal modifications of calcium carbonate, as well as an amorphous form. The crystalline forms are calcite, aragonite, and vaterite, with calcite being the most commonly used form for filler applications.

Two types of calcium carbonate filler can be recognized, natural and synthetic (precipitated).

 
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