Perlite sand, due to its almost weighty structure, has a lot of advantages, which allows it to be successfully used in many areas of human activity. In this article, we will consider in more detail what this interesting material represents, in which areas it is advisable to use, and in what – it is worth abandoning exploitation for a number of significant causes.
The word “perlite” translates from French as “Pearl”, and the grain of the sands are really similar to their texture on pearls. However, no relation to mollusks and even more than the perlite jewelry case does not have.
The sandbanks are formed due to the emission of the magma on the surface during the eruption of the volcano – at the moment when the hot mass creates quickly. As a result, a volcanic glass is obtained, which is known as “Obsidian”.
Those layers of material that turned out to be deep underground are subjected to groundwater (somewhat changing the structure, absorb a certain amount of moisture), and the sand grains are formed at the output, and the academic – Obsidian hydroxide.
Perlite is divided into 2 large groups in the content of liquids in it:
- up to 1%;
- up to 4-6%.
In addition to water, the material contains many chemical elements. Among others, you can select iron, aluminum, potassium oxide, sodium, silica dioxide.
According to the structure, perlite is a porous substance that is divided into different species, depending on the predominance of certain chemical elements in the composition. For example, a known obsidian, masonry, spheroid, hydraulic, pempped, tender, plastic and other types.
In kind of material not used in construction. However, in the process of experiments, it was opened by his unique property to remove when passing heat treatment, increase in size and disintegrate on particles. It was this material that was subsequently called the name “Running Perlit”. In the roasting process, the particle may increase in size up to 18-22 times, which way it is possible to create a material of different density (it may vary from 75 kg / m3 to 150 kg / m3). The conditions of application of foam material depend on density:
- The construction is most often used larger material;
- In agrarian purposes, sand is used, having marked M75;
- Perlite of very small fractions is in demand in medicine and food industries.
Perlite, having from nature a variety of colors (from black and green to brown and white), after hot processing acquires a certain cream or bluish tint.
To the touch, such “pebbles” seem pleasant and warm, larger particles are no longer sand, but perlite rubble.
Pros and cons
Like each material, perlite has several advantages and disadvantages. Perlite characteristics must be considered as the material is very different from conventional sand.
Consider the main advantages that will help determine where it is more expedient to apply this granulate.
- Foamed Perlit – Pretty light raw materials, thanks to which is actively used in construction. He, in contrast to conventional sand, greatly facilitates the load on the supporting structures.
- High thermo– and sound insulation properties – another substantial plus material. With it, it is possible to provide thermal conductivity and noise insulation of walls in the room and thereby save on heating.
- Perlite is characterized by absolute resistance to external influences. It is not formed by fungus and mold, he “uninteresting” rodents, insect pests do not live in it and do not suit the nests, it does not deteriorate and does not change its properties even in aggressive environments.
- Increased wear resistance The material is also manifested in the fact that it is not susceptible to fire, is able to withstand over-high and ultra-low temperatures.
- Foamed Perlit It is an environmentally friendly material, since it is made of natural rocks undergoing treated with high temperatures. No chemical reagents are applied during production. Accordingly, the grains of the grace do not distinguish toxic substances.
The disadvantages of this in all senses of useful material include three points.
- Increased hygroscopicity. Perlite extremely undesirable to apply indoors with high humidity. Since the material is porous, it is able to actively absorb and retain moisture, which ultimately can lead to weighting and collapse of all supporting structures. If the solution to the use of perlite in a wet environment is still accepted, it is necessary to be treated with water repellent substances.
- When working with perlit, you can observe the clouds of dust, which may adversely affect the health of builders. Therefore, it is recommended to use protective masks in the construction process and periodically sprinkled with water.
- Another disadvantage can be considered a relatively recent fame of Perlitis and its non-regionalism. Many users simply do not know about the existence of such an alternative to the usual materials (Minvat and Foam).
Scope of application
Due to its high operational qualities, foamed perlite is used in many areas of activity: from construction to medicine, from metallurgy to the chemical industry. Consider in more detail those industries that are often found not on mass production, but in everyday life.
As already noted above, perlite is highly valued for its small weight, which allows you to create lighter designs and reduces pressure on the bearing elements.
Running sand is often used for the preparation of solutions and plaster. The mortar is missing inter-block seams, and the plaster is applied to the surface for insulation of the room. Plaster based on foamed volcanic substance can save heat no worse than brick masonry.
Based dry material insulate intervals between the walls, It is placed for insulation and alignment under the floor covering, as well as a mixture of perlite and bitumen mastic serves as a roof insulation. The isolation of the chimney, made on the basis of this material, significantly reduces the risk of ignition, because perlite is a non-combustible element.
In addition, you can find ready-made building blocks based on this material.
Since perlite is an eco-friendly and harmless material that does not emit harmful substances, it is successfully used in gardening in the cultivation of various cultures.
So, Foamed sand serves as an excellent baking powder due to its porous structure. When it is added to the soil, oxygen is admitted to plant roots.
Perlite is able to accumulate and retain moisture, which allows plants in emergency arid situations not to be left without moisture.
In addition, often such sands are used with a completely opposite purpose – to collect excessive moisture after excessively frequent torrential rains and thereby save plants from posting.
The smallest fractions of foam perlite are used to create filters of various purposes. Without them, it is not necessary to manufacture various equipment in medical and pharmacological regions.
Small perlitis granules are widely used when creating filters for the food industry.
Due to natural origin and subsequent heat treatment, perlite has no shelf life and can be operated unlimited amount of time without losing their positive qualities.
Even more about the features of pelite sand, see the following video.