Attapulgite is a hydrous magnesium aluminosilicate that is used as a thixotropic thickener, anti-settling agent, syneresis control, rheology modifier and binder in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications. Attapulgite are electrically charged rod-shaped particles that form a lattice structure that trap and suspend liquids and particles, which imparts thixotropic thickening, suspension and syneresis control. Typical markets for products containing Attapulgite include: paint and coatings, building products, oil well drilling mud, agricultural suspensions, catalyst and molecular sieves
A very fine highly water absorbent non-swelling clay material that imparts suspension, thixotropy and binding properties to bodies and suspensions. It is found in compact blocks in sedimentary rocks and looks like soil. It feels somewhat greasy smooth and the dried material is light in weight.
Unlike smectites and montmorillonites, attapulgites do not have a flat particle shape, they have rod-shaped particles. Particles are electrolytically charged, this enables them to function as shear-thinning thickeners and suspension agents by forming a dispersing thixotropic lattice by a non-swelling mechanism.
The high degree of refining plus the dispersant adsorbed on the product determine the self-dispersing characteristics. Attapulgite deposits are found in Florida (Active Minerals, a notable manufacturer, has products that include FZ400, FZ800 & FZ1200; these differ in the amount refining).
One popular use of this material is heat-treating granules to improve liquid absorption and hardness for cat litter. The Swiss-cheese-like micro-structure gives them extraordinary capacity to absorb liquids
Attapulgite is sometimes referred to as salt gel and/or fullers earth. Attapulgite is a hydrous magnesium aluminosilicate with formula (Mg,Al)2Si4O10(OH)4(H2O) that occurs in a type of clay soil produced in fine powder as gel and absorbent grades. It is needle like structure
Processing of the clays consist of drying and grinding the crude clay to specific particle size distributions with specific ranges of gel viscosity measured by a variety of means depending on the end use.
Dry – processed attapulgite are used in a very wide range of applications for suspension, reinforcement, gelling agent, stabiling agent and binding properties.
Paints, Construction, Tape-joint Compound, Catalysts, Suspension Fertilizers, Wild-fire Suppressants, Foundry Coatings, Animal Feed Suspensions, Construction, Pharmaceuticals and Molecular Sieve Binders are just a few uses of attapulgite.
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