Alternate Names: Atapulgite, Palygorskite, fullers earth
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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.
Out Bound Links
Montmorillonite, Bentonite USA
Antigel 208, Actigel Attapulgite
Attapulgite is a magnesium aluminum silicate clay of very fine particle size. It is also known as Fullers Earth and is closely related to Sepiolite mineral. Unlike bentonite (or montmorillonite) attap...
In Bound Links