Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) is most commonly used in paint as an extender for titanium dioxide, or TiO2. The small and narrowly distributed PCC particles help space the individual TiO2 particles and maximize their hiding power. This extension of the prime white pigment can improve opacity and reduce cost.
Unlike ground calcium carbonates (GCCs), which come in just one shape regardless of size, PCCs can be made in many shapes and smaller sizes not achievable by mere grinding. The needle-shaped aragonites and clustered scalenohedral calcites are typical crystal types used as extenders to increase opacity and porosity for dry hiding while smaller prismatics of very uniform particle size can increase film integrity.
Such differences in precipitated calcium carbonate crystal morphology and size can lead to major differences in how a particular PCC performs in different coating formulations. Many PCC products for paint are available in the form of water slurries which maintain the dispersion of the manufactured particle and avoid the need for a production step to redisperse the dried powders.
PCC, much like ground carbonate, finds its largest application in interior and exterior architectural coatings. There is some use in powder coatings—especially the fine and ultrafine nano grades—whose small and narrow particle size distributions promote “Class A” finishes. In addition to the standard, uncoated hydrophilic grades, some PCCs are available in stearic acid-coated versions. These versions increase hydrophobicity, dispersibility, and compatibility in solvent-based or 100-percent solids coatings.
The degree to which precipitated calcium carbonate are considered standard raw materials for paint formulations varies from region to region. PCCs are common in decorative paints in Europe, South America, and Asia, but less common in North America. The choice generally depends on the relative availability of other extender minerals in the region as well as relative costs.
Specialty Minerals Precipitated Calcium Carbonates for Paint
PCCs for paint are manufactured by Specialty Minerals Inc. (SMI) in Europe, the U.S. and Brazil. The typical uncoated products recommended are:
- Calopake® F PCC is a 2 micron clustered scalenohedral calcite PCC used for exceptional brightness and titanium dioxide extension. It is manufactured in SMI’s Birmingham, U.K. facility.
- SturcalTM F PCC is a 2.8 micron acicular aragonite, manufactured in Birmingham, U.K.
- Albacar® 5970 PCC PCC is a 1.9 micron scalenohedral calcite manufactured in Adams, Massachusetts.
- Albacar® 8101 PCC is a 1.4 micron scalenohedral PCC manufactured in Adams, Massachusetts.
- RevestCarbTM PCC is a 1.9 micron scalenohedral calcite manufactured in SMI’s plant in Jacarei, Brazil.
- Albafil® PCC is a fine, 0.7 micron prismatic calcite manufactured at SMI’s plant in Adams, Massachusetts.
Nano or ultrafine PCCs are produced in SMI’s PCC plants in Adams, Massachusetts, and Birmingham, U.K.
- Calofort® S PCC – is a 0.07 micron nano PCC and is stearic-acid coated. It is manufactured in Birmingham, U.K.
- Ultra-Pflex® PCC is a 0.07 micron coated nano PCC and is manufactured in Adams, Massachusetts.
- Calofort® U and Multifex-MM® PCCs are 0.07 micron nano PCCs and are uncoated for more hydrophilic applications. These PCCs are manufactured in Birmingham, U.K. They are sold in the U.S. under the Multifex-MM® PCC name and in the rest of the world as Calofort® U PCC.
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- SMI minerals for paint
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- What is Ground Calcium Carbonate GCC / Limestone?
- What is Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC)
- What is Nano Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC)?
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