What is Perlite?
Perlite and how it is produced.
Perlite is a naturally occurring amorphous volcanic glass formed by the rapid cooling and solidification of volcanic lava, which traps crystalline water into its mass. The highest quality raw Perlite is imported from Turkey and heat processed in Wadeville by our sister company, Sun Silicates, using state-of-the-art technology. The process of exfoliating Perlite is based on the presence of two to six percent combined water in raw Perlite rock. When quickly heated to above 870°C, the raw particles expand to approximately four to twenty times their original volume as the combined water vaporizes and creates countless tiny bubbles in the glassy material.
This results in a material which offers excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties on floors, walls and roofs with excellent lightweight and fireproof properties. Unexfoliated (“raw”) Perlite has a bulk density of around 1100 kg/m3, while expanded Perlite typically has a bulk density of about 30–150kg/m3. Not only does exfoliated Perlite meet the highest sustainable engineering standards, but it is also chemically inert, non-combustable, odourless and durable, is pH neutral and has a very low carbon footprint.
While raw Perlite rock may range in colour from transparent through to light grey and glossy black, the colour of a good quality expanded Perlite is generally a distinctive snow white. Branded SunPerl from Sun Silicates, expanded Perlite is available in a variety of grades for various applications including in refractory materials, filter aids for wine, beer, fruit juices and edible oils, growing media for the hydroponics, horticultural and agricultural industries and as fillers for the paint industry.
In pure architecture, the smallest detail should have a meaning or serve a purpose.
– Augustus W.N. Pugin
Perlite in construction.
- Lightweight and insulating plasters
- Insulating screeds on concrete floors or flat roofs
- Lightweight and insulating concrete
- Loose fill in cavities for insulation
- Fireproofing of structural steel columns
- Lightweight precast cladding
- Decorative applications