Calcium carbonate filler contains CaCO3 powder a common mineral accounting for approximately 5% of the earth’s crust. CaCO3 powder to make calcium carbonate filler is known as a versatile component functioning as a cost-saving solution in various fields including paper, construction, paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, rubbers and plastics, etc. However, it is recently proved to display the enhancing effects to the mechanical properties of polypropylene (PP) polymers – a major material in modern plastic industry. Among the most-used thermoplastics in the world, polypropylene (PP) shows the highest demand.
Updating the global demand of calcium carbonate filler and PP plastics
The global CaCO3 powder market size has been raising non-stop in the past few decades and is forecasted to reach up to nearly 38 billion USD by 2025 (according to reports of Grand View Research, Inc.). The plastic industry requires a huge the demand for both types: precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) and ground calcium carbonate (GCC). In plastic industry, PCC is more favored than the GCC in utilizing as the filler. They can function as opacifier extenders, impact modifiers, glossing agents, cavitation agents or a cost-effective whiteness solution.
Categorized into regional markets, Asian countries, especially China, India and Japan, are the major consumers of this type of CaCO3 powder – the main material to produce calcium carbonate filler. The increasing demand of using calcium carbonate is due to the expansion in end-use industries, especial in construction and automotive production with the involvement of a wide range of plastic accessories.
Limestone – the inexpensive source of calcium carbonate filler
Limestone is well-known around the world as a sedimentary rock which is mainly composed by calcium carbonate (CaCO3). They exist in nature in three polymorphs: calcite (the most thermodynamically stable form), aragonite and vaterite. These rocks may also contain magnesium in is components and are called as dolomite (calcium-magnesium carbonate, CaMg[CO3]2). Here in EuP, we are proud of being able to exploit the abundant and high-quality source of calcium carbonate in limestone quarries in Vietnam.
Why calcium carbonate filler is commonly used in plastic industry?
Nowadays, both plastic and automobile industry cannot survive without the calcium carbonate filler. But what makes them so special? First, they have abundant reverse in natural resources, that’s why they are affordable both in prices and the available amount. Obviously, no producer will say no to a cheap material. Adding calcium carbonate into the plastic mixture can be considered as a smart way to replace a part of input material without affecting the quality of product. Hence, manufacturers can save a lot of money spending for material costs up to 40% and generally increase their profit.
Not only being beneficial to the producers, calcium carbonate filler also plays a vital role in protecting consumers from the unpredictable price fluctuations, consequently creating a price-stable market where consumers can have a wide range of choices in choosing manufacturer that fits them best.
Various key properties is improved by using calcium carbonate filler
Second, they showed up to be the best choice to enhance various mechanical properties of plastic, especially the PP resins. The addition of calcium carbonate filler in polypropylene has been shown to lift the performance of finished plastic products, especially in several key properties such as impact strength, stiffness, heat deflection temperature, thermal conductivity, printing ability, sustainability, etc. Depend on which type of limestone being used, the mixture will display distinct combination of properties. For example, polymers added with aragonite show enhanced impact resistance, tensile strength, decomposition and glass-modifying temperature.
Enhanced loading efficiencies brought by calcium carbonate filler
Third, the use of calcium carbonate filler also brought competitive advantage to the consumers, especially who use the PP masterbatch in thermoforming applications. The enhanced thermal conductivity allows plastic to heat up and cool down much faster, and by that the amount of energy needed for processing is significantly cut down. As the result, manufacturers are benefited from the reduced production costs, improved productivity, higher quality outputs, faster and higher conversion rates, all leading to the improved operating efficiencies and finally the huge advantages in the bottom line.
Calcium carbonate filler – a safe material for both human and environment
Finally, there is another advantage of calcium carbonate filler that not much people know about: the safety it brought to consumer’s health and environment. Calcium carbonate is 100% proved by FDA to be safe for using in critical applications such food and beverage packaging and medical packaging. The utility of calcium carbonate as a plastic extender can also cause positive impact to the environment by cut down the use of primary plastic, resulting in decreased in crude oil exploration – an important natural resources that are gradually exhausted. Moreover, according to researches published by Heritage Plastics, approximately 23% of Green House Gas can be saved by using a 40% loaded calcium carbonate filler for polypropylene plastic products.