Vermiculite is a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral. It undergoes significant expansion when heated. Exfoliation occurs when the mineral is heated sufficiently, and the effect is routinely produced in commercial furnaces. Vermiculite is formed by weathering or hydrothermal alteration of biotite or phlogopite. Large commercial vermiculite mines currently exist in Russia, China
Exfoliated vermiculite is used in the friction brake linings market, high temperature insulation, loft insulation, various construction products, animal feeds, horticulture and many other industrial applications.
Here are some common ways that vermiculite is used:
Horticultural Applications– vegetable transplanting, seed germination, rooting cuttings, soil amending, small area gardening, drip type hydroponic systems and ebb and flow systems, flower bulb storage, landscaping, and more.
Industrial Applications – abrasives, absorbents, animal feed, friction linings, paints and coatings, storm water treatment, carriers for pesticides, and more.
Construction Applications – Lightweight concrete, bitumen coated vermiculite screeds, fire proof safes and boards, gypsum boards, plasters, swimming pool liners, filtration, loose-fill insulation, and more.