Encompassing Flexibulk, the well-established and respected filtration business, the now combined Flexibulk and Applied Minerals team provide 37 years’ experience in the minerals market. As specialists Applied Minerals provide expert technical knowledge alongside the highest quality products, offering you effective systems to fulfil your needs. We offer our own and leading market brand products, including; diatomite, perlite, cellulose, pumice and vermiculite.
Whether face-to-face or over the telephone we take your bespoke requirements very seriously, from system issues to full scale plant trials, so we can develop a customised solution to suit your needs.
Customer Focused Team
Our sales team is dedicated to supporting the historic customer base of Flexibulk while developing long-term partnerships with all of our customers to provide a consistent quality of service, ensuring their experience with Applied Minerals is productive and hassle free.
Feel free to contact us and discuss how we may be able to help you.
Overview of our Products
We offer a wide variety of specially selected minerals for numerous applications. All of our minerals are produced in strictly audited processes and efficient logistics ensure that we keep the supply pipeline full and deliver on schedule. Please see our raw material product descriptions below.
Diatomite is a fossilised mineral of vegetable origin. It is the accumulation of an enormous number of fossil diatoms.
Diatoms are single cell plants of microscopic size. There are many varieties that live in both freshwater lakes and saltwater oceans, staying close to the surface where they form part of the abundant plankton. Alive, they are at the base of the food chain. Dead, they leave a tiny
skeleton known as a frustule.
Whereas most other plants use solar energy to synthesise cellulose for their cell walls, the diatom extracts amorphous silica from the water, building for itself what amounts to an elegant, but strong shell with highly symmetrical perforations.
Diatoms reproduce themselves in bi-cell divisions every few hours and it has been estimated that a single diatom could produce up to 1,000,000,000 diatoms.
In its natural (milled) state, the individual diatoms are extremely small and would form a very fine (low permeability) filter-cake, which would be too ‘slow’ for most filtration applications. To create larger particles, the diatoms are fused together at high temperatures. These larger
particles are then classified, according to their specification.
Large deposits are now open-cast mined in the USA, Northern Europe and Iceland.
Two types of Diatomite are processed:
1. Freshwater origin, which are tubular and extremely effective and efficient in the removal of very fine solids for applications where fast flow-rates and large internal volumes for solids entrapment are required. All types are processed at temperatures ranging from 800 to 1100°C. Both calcined and flux-calcined Diatomite filter aids are free of organic matter and are non-absorptive. The uniformity and consistency of the freshwater diatomite makes it an excellent industrial mineral e.g. as a filler/extender and carrier. Celatom is a fresh water brand of diatomite.
2. Seawater origin, which are composed of rods, flowers, boats and snowflake shapes. These have the same use as freshwater daitomites, but offer lower internal porosity for flow rate and solids entrapment.
Perlite, in the natural state, is a dense glassy rock formed by volcanic action. When crushed and heated, it ‘pops’ like popcorn, expanding to 20 or more times its original volume. The explosion creates a porous structure. By special milling techniques, the structure necessary for a good
filter aid can be obtained.
Perlite is an amorphous mineral consisting of fused sodium potassium aluminium silicate. It is processed in the same temperature range as Diatomite, in order to eliminate organic matter.
Perlite softens when it reaches temperatures of 850–900 °C (1560-1650 °F). Water trapped in the structure of the material vaporises and escapes, and this causes the expansion of the material to 7–16 times its original volume. The expanded material is a brilliant white, due to the reflectivity of the trapped bubbles. Perlite ore “raw” perlite has a bulk density around 1100 kg/m3 (1.1 g/cm3), while typical expanded perlite has a bulk density of about 30–150 kg/m3 (0.03-0.150 g/cm3).
Perlite does not possess the very fine interstices or internal area of Diatomite and, therefore, in general does not have the same very fine solids removal capability. However, because perlite is bulkier, it can be more economic to use in specific applications.
In its un milled form the “Glass style” sealed bubbles make this product light weight and excellent for many applications.
Pumice is a light-coloured cavity laden/pitted igneous rock. It forms through very rapid solidification of a melt. The vesicular texture is a result of gas trapped in the melt at the time of solidification.
Pumice is created when super-heated, highly pressurised rock (magma) is ejected from active volcanoes or the fast cooling of lava when it comes into contact with water. The fine “bubbles” within the rock are due to the rapid depressurisation caused by the gases un-solubilising and then cooling rapidly to create a fine bubble matrix within the rock.
Pure Alpha cellulose is extracted from beech wood. The fibres produced are snow white, chemically inert and contain practically no ash. In general terms, the different permeability’s / clarifying characteristics of each cellulose grade are determined by the length of the fibres.
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