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Ground Calcium Carbonate (GCC) in Plastics

Ground calcium carbonate, GCC, is a cost-effective functional filler for plastics. Besides reducing formulation costs, calcium carbonate provides opacity and surface gloss. Impact strength and flexural modulus are improved when the particle size is carefully controlled to a fine median particle size and a minimum top size. Further improvement in impact strength and flexural modulus is possible with the appropriate surface treatment on the fine ground calcium carbonate. The surface treatment also enhances the dispersion of the filler in the resin system.

Uses for Ground Calcium Carbonate in Plastics
Ground calcium carbonate can be incorporated into a number of resin systems including, but not limited to rigid and flexible polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene, unsaturated polyesters, polyester, polyurethane, nylon, and polyacrylate. Within these systems, the ground calcium carbonate has the following functionalities:

  • Impact modifier, filler and opacifier in PE compounds
  • Impact modifier, filler and opacifier in PP compounds
  • Reinforcing filler for HDPE
  • Filler in flexible PVC wire and cable coverings
  • Promoter of gas and vapor permeability in breathable LLDPE film
  • Antiblock in low clarity LLDPE film
  • Impact modifier and filler in rigid PVC potable water pipe
  • Impact modifier and filler in rigid PVC general purpose pipe
  • Shrinkage control, mechanical property enhancement in SMC/BMC, unsaturated polyester compounds
  • Resin extender for polyolefins, pvc and engineering resins
  • Reinforcing filler for nylon

Surface treated ground calcium carbonate products disperse easier in most polymeric systems when compared to untreated products. The typical surface treatment is stearic acid. 

Specialty Minerals Ground Calcium Carbonates for Plastics
Specialty Minerals has a number of ground calcium carbonate products for plastic applications. The Vicron GCC series of products from the Lucerne Valley, California plant and the Adams, Massachusetts plant provide a wide range of particle sizes to choose from: 2 micron to 8 micron median particle sizes. Coated analogs of the finer ground Vicron GCC products, Hi-Pflex 100, Pfinyl 402 and Super-Fil GCCs are used when best dispersion is needed. The riverCalTM 8100 series calcium carbonate from the Mount Vernon, Indiana and the Wellsville, Ohio plants also offer a range of products to choose from: 2.5 microns to 5.5 microns in average particle size. For less demanding applications, Marblewhite GCC products, in 325 and 200 mesh, from the Lucerne and Adams plants provide a cost-effective alternative.


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