Although its unique properties were known as early as 1824, it was during the early 1900’s when practical uses were sought. Thomas Webb dubbed the mineral “Vermiculite” because he thought it looked like a mass of small worms (the Latin word ‘vermiculare’, meaning “to breed worms” and ‘ite’, meaning rock or mineral).
In 1923 the first successful mine opened, which operated until 1990. Vermiculite is currently mined in 8 countries around the world. Ultra Tech buys purchases the best quality raw ore available; this allows us to supply our customers with the highest quality vermiculite. All of our vermiculite products are certified organic and asbestos free. For more information click here (products vermiculite link).
Vermiculite has numerous applications. It is very versatile due to its inertness, thermal stability, and sterility. It is easy to handle, clean, odourless and mould resistant.
Although the majority of our clientele is in the horticulture or agriculture trades, vermiculite is utilized as a safe insulation by contractors, an additive to concrete for ‘light concrete’, for roofing and patio covers, or to improve insulation (one inch of ‘vermiculite concrete’ has as much insulation value as 19 inches of Portland cement). Vermiculite is also used in making brake linings, and as fillers in such items as ink and paint. Impervious to caustic chemicals, large grade vermiculite is often used in ‘lab packs’ and spill clean-up.
Here are some common ways that vermiculite is used:
Horticultural Applications – vegetable transplanting, seed germination, rooting cuttings, soil amending, small area gardening, drip type hydroponic systems and ebb and flow systems, flower bulb storage, landscaping, and more.
Industrial Applications – abrasives, absorbents, animal feed, friction linings, paints and coatings, storm water treatment, carriers for pesticides, and more.
Construction Applications – Lightweight concrete, bitumen coated vermiculite screeds, fire proof safes and boards, gypsum boards, plasters, swimming pool liners, filtration, loose-fill insulation, and more.
For more information on our vermiculite products click here.