When it comes to comparing microspheres, there’s nothing like Silbrico’s exclusive Sil-Cell. It was the very first microsphere to hit the market more than 40 years ago and we have continued to refine it to produce a superior end material. This is the quality our partners rely on to make their products the best they can be.
There are a number of factors that make Sil-Cell so unique. These include density, coating, and uniformity.
By ensuring full expansion of our raw ore, we can offer the lightest possible material at all particle size distributions. Competitive products will often offer “off-sets” to our material that may show similar densities. However, to accomplish this they will often include a much larger—and lighter—product resulting in a wider Particle Size Distribution (PSD) or a different average particle size. This wider distribution of particles will cause end-users problems with their formulations because load-to-load this lack of uniformity in product being received means that the end product will vary as well.
Since top-end particle size is a concern in quite a few finished goods where microspheres are a key ingredient, it is important to achieve the lightest possible results with the smallest possible particles. This is Sil-Cell’s forte.
Coating perlite that is expanded at such a high temperature is extremely technical. There are very strict parameters needed to achieve a solid coating performance. Sil-Cell is monitored throughout our production processes to ensure that our coating is applied evenly and will withstand the rigors of the end users’ processes. Also, our proprietary silicone coating techniques will ensure hydrophobicity for years after production.
In contrast, the coating on other non-Silbrico microspheres will start to degrade after as few as 24 to 48 hours. Head-to-head tests with the leading competitors showed Silbrico’s coated product far outperformed the competition—and that has led to our customers’ products being more coveted in the market. Our customers have told us that if there is one thing about our material that most outperforms the competition, it is our coating.
Perlite expansion is a fairly simple process: take raw ore, add heat, and the material expands to the finished product. However, the starting material known commonly as feedstock can weigh heavily on the finished good. If the PSD of your starting product is large, then your finished product will be, too.
One key reason why Silbrico’s product is uniform is because our specification for the starting ore is much more stringent than any perlite ore supplier can provide, so we control that in house. While other perlite microsphere producers simply expand whatever gradation of ore they get from a perlite mine, Silbrico processes every pound of ore we get from the mine and make it better before we even start the expansion process.
Our unique prescreening and in-production milling processes ensure that we start every production run with a custom ore specification that is exactly what we need to produce the highest quality material. This allows us to deliver a finished good that is consistent. PSD analysis of Sil-Cell shows that the majority of the particles being received are in a very tight window (see below).
Sil-Cell: The end-all product for the end-user advantage
Whatever product you’re producing, you can count on the quality and consistency of Sil-Cell as a superior microsphere. It’s been found to be cost effective in the manufacturing of joint compounds, adhesives, autobody putty, cultured marble, wall-patching compounds, stucco, ready-mix gypsum plasters, resins, plastics, cosmetics, and a variety of other composites.
As they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And when you’re using Sil-Cell, it counts for a lot.