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Formula: Mg5Si8O20(OH)6,4H2O
Alternate Names: Atapulgite, Palygorskite, fullers earth

Oxide Weight283.66
Formula Weight319.08
If this formula is not unified correctly please contact us.

A very fine highly water absorbent non-swelling clay material that imparts suspension, thixotropy and binding properties to bodies and suspensions. It is found in compact blocks in sedimentary rocks and looks like soil. It feels somewhat greasy smooth and the dried material is light in weight.

Unlike smectites and montmorillonites, attapulgites do not have a flat particle shape, they have rod-shaped particles. Particles are electrolytically charged, this enables them to function as shear-thinning thickeners and suspension agents by forming a dispersing thixotropic lattice by a non-swelling mechanism.

The high degree of refining plus the dispersant adsorbed on the product determine the self-dispersing characteristics. Attapulgite deposits are found in Florida (Active Minerals, a notable manufacturer, has products that include Acti-gel, Min-u-gel & Forigel; these differ in the amount refining).

One popular use of this material is heat-treating granules to improve liquid absorption and hardness for cat litter. The Swiss-cheese-like micro-structure gives them extraordinary capacity to absorb liquids.

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By Tony Hansen

XML for Import into INSIGHT

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <material name="Attapulgite" descrip="" searchkey="Atapulgite, Palygorskite, fullers earth" loi="0.00" casnumber="71396-54-8"> <oxides> <oxide symbol="CaO" name="Calcium Oxide, Calcia" status="" percent="2.150" tolerance=".35"/> <oxide symbol="MgO" name="Magnesium Oxide, Magnesia" status="" percent="9.900" tolerance=".6"/> <oxide symbol="K2O" name="Potassium Oxide" status="" percent="1.300" tolerance=".3"/> <oxide symbol="Na2O" name="Sodium Oxide, Soda" status="" percent="0.400" tolerance=".1"/> <oxide symbol="TiO2" name="Titanium Dioxide, Titania" status="" percent="0.500" tolerance=".4"/> <oxide symbol="Al2O3" name="Aluminum Oxide, Alumina" status="" percent="9.600" tolerance=".2"/> <oxide symbol="SiO2" name="Silicon Dioxide, Silica" status="" percent="55.950" tolerance="5.45"/> <oxide symbol="Fe2O3" name="Iron Oxide, Ferric Oxide" status="" percent="6.200" tolerance=".5"/> <oxide symbol="MnO" name="Manganous Oxide" status="" percent="0.300" tolerance=""/> </oxides> <volatiles> <volatile symbol="H2O" name="Water" percent="11.100" tolerance=""/> </volatiles> </material>

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