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Wollastonite

What is wollastonite ?
Wollastonite is a naturally occurring mineral with many
unique characteristics. Through advanced processing, it
has become one of the most versatile functional fillers in
the marketplace. Wollastonite increases the performance
of many products including plastics, paints and coatings,
construction materials, friction, ceramic and metallurgical
applications to name a few.

Wollastonite is an industrial mineral comprised chemically
of calcium, silicon and oxygen. Its molecular formula is
CaSiO3 and its theoretical composition consists of 48.28%
CaO and 51.72% SiO2. Natural wollastonite may contain
trace or minor amounts of various metal ions such as
aluminum, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
Wollastonite is rarely found by itself and generally contains Optimum performance is created by properly matching
other minerals like calcite, garnet and diopside that are the correct coupling agent at the right concentration level
removed during processing. to the polymer system. Overall, the benefits of a surface
modified wollastonite are improved physical properties,
Typical Properties Chart improved processing along with improved dispersion of
Appearance White the resin.
Morphology acicular
Molecular Weight 116 • Construction: Wollastonite has found application as a
Specific Gravity 2.9 substitute for asbestos in fire-resistant building products
Refractive Index 1.63 used in the construction industry. As a functional
additive, wollastonite improves flexural and impact
pH (10% Slurry) 9.9
strengths. Its low thermal conductivity and high aspect
Water Solubility (g/100cc) 0.0095
ratio structure also makes wollastonite an attractive
Density (lbs./cu.ft.) 181 addition for applications requiring fire resistance.
Bulking Value (gal./lbs.) 0.0413 Wollastonite finds application in interior and exterior
Mohs Hardness 4.5 construction boards, roof tiles, shaped insulation
Coefficient of Expansion 6.5 x 10 -6 products, sheets, panels and sidings.
(mm/mm/°C)
Melting Point (°C) - theoretical 1540 • Paints and Coatings: In coatings, fine acicular particles
act as a good flattening agent and allow paint to settle
out after application to produce a dry film of uniform
Multiple properties – manifold uses thickness, and the interlocking particles improve
toughness and durability of the coating with excellent tint
• Plastics: In plastics, wollastonite improves the durability retention, scrub, and weather resistance. High
of the composite due to its acicular or needle-like brightness and whiteness reduce pigment load and
structure. It also enhances electrical insulating typically very low oil absorption, reduces the volume of
properties, adds fire resistance, and improves binder required and contributes to reduced pigment
dimensional stability. Finer particle size grades provide costs. As noted earlier,
improved scratch and impact resistance compared to wollastonite can also act as a pH
other materials. buffer for improved in-can paint
The application of surface treatments like silanes on the stability over long periods of time.
wollastonite substrate changes the mineral from an The acicular structure and
utilitarian filler to a functional component of a polymer alkaline nature of wollastonite
composite. This in turn adds performance values which also make it an ideal auxiliary
the base resin alone does not possess. pigment in industrial coatings and
primers for improved corrosion
resistance.

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• Metallurgical: In metallurgical applications, wollastonite • Friction: Due to its physical structure and non
is used due to its low water solubility, low loss on ignition hazardous properties, wollastonite is used as a
and its Ca–Si ratio. Wollastonite is commonly added to reinforcing additive in many friction applications. It
formulated powders for steel casting and welding. A is also a partial/full replacement for asbestos, milled
CaO/SiO2 ratio of 1 readily absorbs Al2O3 that is fibres, chopped glass and synthetic materials. Its
detrimental to finished steels. The addition of primary application is in semi-metallic and non-
wollastonite to metallurgical fluxes provides ready asbestos formulations for truck blocks, drum linings,
fusibility, good insulating qualities and low viscosity. disc pads and friction paper. Benefits of using
Because wollastonite is a natural, low temperature flux, it wollastonite in a friction formulation include
has found acceptance in fluxing formulations used in the improved physical and mechanical properties,
continuous casting of steel. When molten steel is poured reduction or elimination of cracking, improved pre-
continuously from a ladle or tundish, a casting powder is form strength, improved friction stability, noise
applied to maintain surface defects, prevents oxidation reduction and reduced raw material and unit cost
of the steel, lubricates the mold wall and absorbs (density).
harmful inclusions.

• Ceramics: Wollastonite can be used in a variety of For more information, please contact:
ceramic applications including ceramic glazes and
bodies, enamels, frits, fluxes and in sanitaryware. This ESMA–The European Specialty Minerals
industrial mineral is a Association (Member of IMA-Europe)
source of CaO to alkaline 233, Bd Sylvain Dupuis, box 124
glaze formulations to B-1070 Brussels, Belgium
improve the strength of the Tel: +32 (0)2 524 55 00
glaze. Wollastonite also Fax: +32 (0)2 524 45 75
has a low LOI (< 1%) E-Mail: secretariat@ima-eu.org
which gives minimal gas Web site: www.ima-eu.org
evolution during firing
resulting in a smooth
surface with diminished
pinholing. Due to its acicular structure, wollastonite
improves green strength and reduces crazing and
checking especially during rapid heating and cooling. It
has a low sintering temperature (approximately 991-
1196°C) which is comparable to that of most natural frits.

Industrial Minerals - Your world is made of them