A COMPREHENSIVE PIGMENT PORTFOLIO
With a unique and comprehensive portfolio of kaolins, calcium carbonates, diatomaceous earth (DE) and talc minerals, transformational specialty products such as FiberLean® and EcoBright™, as well as our Formulations Services, Imerys is able to provide its global customer base with a wide range of advanced multi-pigment solutions such as filler additives, coating pigments or processing aids.
Kaolin is a hydrated aluminum silicate crystalline mineral formed over millions of years by the hydrothermal decomposition or weathering of granite. One of the most abundant minerals on earth, it is characterized by its fine particle shape and chemical inertness. Drawing upon reserves in the UK, France, Brazil and the USA, Imerys offers the most comprehensive range of kaolins for the paper and board industry from filler clays to calcined clays to engineered kaolins for coating. Brazilian clays offer the highest levels of brightness and all kaolins bring unique properties due to the degree of asymmetry associated with their particles.
Precipitated (PCC) and Ground Calcium Carbonate (GCC)
Ground calcium carbonate (GCC) is composed of the crystalline mineral calcite which occurs naturally in the form of chalk, marble or limestone. Chalk is usually fine textured and varies in color from deposit to deposit. Marble gives ultrahigh brightness products. Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) is produced through a chemical reaction process that utilizes calcium oxide (quicklime), water and carbon dioxide to produce very pure calcium carbonate crystals. Through the reaction process, the crystals can be tailored to a variety of shapes and sizes to best fit a customer’s required performance.
Processed throughout Europe, Imerys offers a wide range of carbonate products, differing in particle size, particle size distribution and brightness to suit all paper and board application needs.
Diatomaceous earth is a powder produced from diatomite, a mineral silica composed of the skeletal remains of single-cell aquatic plants called diatoms. No other silica source, whether mined or artificially produced, has such a structure. Each diatom is peppered with thousands of holes ranging from a few microns in diameter down to submicron diameters. The unique properties of DE include high surface area, high absorption power and low specific and bulk density. The high abrasion resistance of the particles, as well as variations in the diatom’s structure in our DE products, impart excellent friction performance in specialty functional papers.
Talc is a hydrated magnesium silicate. Each talc deposit has a unique morphology and mineralogy, but all talcs exhibit the following unique properties: softness (1 on Mohs scale), water repellency, chemical inertness, platyness and an affinity for organic substances. These properties make talc a highly prized multi-functional filler and coating additive in paper, as well as an excellent solution for eliminating deposits during paper production enabling mills to work in closed water circuits and to optimize prime resources.
Bentonite is a very soft plastic clay consisting predominantly of montmorillonite, a fine particle sized hydrous aluminum silicate. Bentonite presents strong colloidal properties and increases its volume several times when coming into contact with water, creating a gelatinous and viscous substance. Its specific properties include swelling, water absorption, viscosity and thixotropy. In papermaking, bentonite is used as a retention aid, pitch and stickies control agent, loop water treatment agent and to dewater sludge since its very high surface area and cationic charge makes it ideal for applications requiring adsorption, flocculation and dewatering.
Imerys FiberLean® MFC is a micro-fibrillated cellulose/mineral composite produced by co-grinding cellulose fibers with a wide range of minerals, with the ratio and mineral determined by end use requirements. The microfibrils present in the product have a large surface area which allows the formation of more hydrogen bonds within the web and gives natural strength to the paper. Imerys has several commercial plants producing a range of FiberLean® products globally. The wet and dry strength characteristics of FiberLean® MFC provide a range of benefits to customers depending on their end use requirements. Similarly, Imerys FiberLean® may be made with many different minerals to improve functionality and provide opportunities for customers to develop new grades or reduce costs on current products.
EcoBright™ is a stabilized magnesium hydroxide solution that is not only environmentally friendly, but delivers cost savings by ensuring optimized use of magnesium sulfate, caustic soda, silicate and/or hydrogen peroxide in the recipes. Using Ecobright® in pulp bleaching can achieve many benefits including higher brightness values, less COD/BOD burden, better pulp dewatering and, consequently, higher yield and cleaner water circuits.
Barrier Coating Minerals & Formulations
Our Barrier Coating Minerals & Formulations are water-based barrier coatings for paperboard applications. Applied by metered size press, blade and rod coaters, or flexo printers, our barrier coating solutions provide a sustainable alternative to wax, fluorochemicals and petrochemical-based extruded or laminated polymers such as polyethylene.
We offer a full range of bespoke formulation and technical and process support services to help you match the right mineral grade to your application requirement.