Mica

Mica, singular mineral with innovative applications

Mica is a mineral belonging to a large group of silicates of alumina, iron, calcium, magnesium and alkaline minerals, characterized by its easy exfoliation in thin flexible, elastic and very bright sheets. Micas form a group composed of almost 30 members that differ from each other, mainly by substitutions of atoms or absence in the crystalline network. From an industrial point of view, very few are extracted: Muscovite, which is the white and most extracted mica, and the Phlogopite, a dark brown mica.

It is one of the most abundant minerals in nature: it constitutes approximately 3.8% of the weight of the earth's crust, and is especially found in acidic intrusive rocks and crystalline micaceous shales.

It is a phyllosilicate that presents an almost perfect basal fracture. It appears along with other minerals forming streaks within generally hard rocks. Among the rolled minerals, micas are unique due to the wide range of naturally available particle sizes from microns to several centimetres. Elemental mica crystals are three-layer minerals: they consist of two tetrahedral sheets and an octahedral sheet, called Te-Oc-Te. Its special properties are obtained thanks to its particular structure (in layers), its mechanical resistance, its birefringence and its chemical stability.

Automotive

Automotive

Mica is widely used in the production of bituminous sheets that are attached to the internal structures of the vehicle frame to dampen vibration. They can also be applied in aerosol form in less accessible areas. Micas M-20, M-150, M-650, applied in aerosol form in less accessible areas are used.

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Brake pads and clutches

Brake pads and clutches

Thanks to its high thermal resistance and laminated structure, mica is added to friction systems to provide better heat transfer along with noise reduction. Mica M-400 and M-500 are used.

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Decor

Decor

Mica can be found in products such as decorative paintings, ceramics, decorative cement, postcards, wall papers, etc., thanks to its esthetic and bright effect. Mica M-600 is used for these applications.

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Drilling

Drilling

Mica is used as a mud constituent for drilling oil wells. Its main function is to seal the walls of the well to avoid leaks and pressure losses when the drill meets fractured areas. M-150, M-600, M-700 are used for this application. Micavi Coarse, Medium and Fine are also alternatives.

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Fibre Cements

Fibre Cements

Mica is used in highly engineered fibre cement to provide dimensional stability under hydration conditions or passive fire protection. M-200 is used for these applications.

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Firefighting and RF increase

Firefighting and RF increase

Mica provides anti-caking and fluidity, something vital to ensure that dry dust will leave the extinguisher tank properly and quickly. M-250 is the one used in these applications. For the increase of RF the most used micas are M-150 and M-200.

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Foundry

Foundry

Mica is used for coatings in iron foundry and, to some extent, foundry of aluminium production. It provides several properties both in the preparation of the coating, such as rheology and stability, and once applied to the internal surface of the mold: the mica provides a layer of constant thickness in the vertical walls, has an anti-veined effect and provides a barrier between the sand mold and the molted iron. In this industry, M-600GH and M-600G are used.

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Paints and coatings

Paints and coatings

Mica is widely used for its reinforcing properties, it prevents cracks in particularly thick films, because the drying process induces contraction. Thanks to its barrier properties, mica brings great value in external representations and anti-corrosive paints. M-100 and M-212H are used for architectural paints and M-20 and M-212H for anti-abrasive paints.

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Paper coatings

Paper coatings

Thanks to its clean surface and soft edges, mica has high barrier properties. This is much appreciated in the packaging of products, as it provides protection against water or grease associated with food. As a natural product, it offers an environmentally friendly solution compared to traditional organic binders. In this application, M-600, M-650 and M-700 are used.

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Plastics

Plastics

Mica acts as a reinforcing additive and is mainly used in compounds in the packaging industry and in the automotive industry. Thanks to its low coefficient of thermal expansion, mica provides dimensional stability in complex and extended pieces. Mica M-150 is the most common used in this industry, but also M-10 and M-20.

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Composites

Composites

Mica is part of these compounds along with other synthetic materials. The resulting material is very resistant, and it is used in aeronautical and space industry, in manufacture of sports equipment, such as rackets and skis, and dental prostheses, among others. Micas used are diverse: M-10, M-300K and M-250.

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Plastic boards and joint compounds

Plastic boards and joint compounds

Mica is mainly used as an anti-cracking and reinforcement additive. It provides good rheological properties and allows a smooth application of the joint paste. M-150 and M-200 are used regularly in this industry.

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Gypsum boards

Gypsum boards

Mica is used to make these boards with a gypsum core lined with paper, used as the basis for a plastering. Also called plasterboard. The most used micas for this purpose are the M-150 and the M-200.

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Rubber

Rubber

Due to its flat structure, mica is used as a release agent during the vulcanization process or as a non-stick powder when several pieces of rubber are stacked. Micas M-20, M-45 and M-150 can be used in this industry.

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Welding rods or electrodes

Welding rods or electrodes

Mica provides added value both during the manufacturing stage of the rod (to facilitate extrusion) and for the welding itself. During welding, the laminated structure acts as a shield that protects molten steel from oxidation of ambient air and moisture. Micas M-200 and M-250 are used for this application.

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Cosmetics and personal care

Cosmetics and personal care

Mica is added as a filler or as a support to the reinforcing properties of the mixture. For this, M-10CG, M-20CG, M-45CG, M-75CG and M-150CG are used.

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Seed protection

Seed protection

Mica composition makes it optimal to protect high-value seeds from external agents, environmental agents or predators. The micas used for these cases are M-45 and M-212H.

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Pearly pigments

Pearly pigments

Mica is the only natural substrate that provides a pearly effect once it has been coated with TiO2 or Fe2O3.

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