Vermiculite is recognized as a material particularly suited for fire protection. Vermiculite-based products range from factory made boards and panels to premixed coatings suitable for application by mechanical spray or by hand plastering techniques on a range of structures. These coatings have been used in the petrochemical industry and tunnel construction
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One of the important criteria when evaluating a brake pad is the ‘coefficient of friction. The coefficient of friction is the ratio of the force of friction between two surfaces and the force pressing them together. The smaller the coefficient of friction, the smaller the force that is required for the two surfaces to slip. The higher the coefficient of friction, the stronger the force that is necessary for the two surfaces to slip. The coefficient of friction is 1 when 100 kg of force (parallel to the ground) is required to move an object that weighs 100kg. If the same object can be moved with 50 kg of force. The coefficient of friction is 0.5. When calculating the coefficient of friction for the braking of a car, the braking torque that occurs when braking, and the fluid pressure that was required to apply the brake pad is used
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Vermiculite is well established as a growing medium. It is most commonly used in compost formulations, usually in combination with peat or coir. Vermiculite/peat or coir compost formulations provide ideal conditions for plant growth. The presence of vermiculite particles in the compost aids aeration, improves moisture retention and promotes the steady release of added fertilisers, whilst the vermiculite itself contributes potassium, magnesium and a number of minor elements. The air/water ratios for vermiculite/peat or coir composts are ideal for the stimulation of root growth, and hence the production of healthy young plants. The vermiculite is sterile when processed. If stored correctly it will need no further treatment before incorporation into composts. Vermiculite can also be used as a carrier and extender for fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. It is also used in a ground form for encapsulating seeds. Exfoliated vermiculite can also be used as a packing material for storing fruit, bulbs and tubers.
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Good thermal insulation, low density and its natural refractory properties combine with ease of application to make vermiculite a highly suitable material for use in steelworks and foundries. It is used for hot topping molten steel to reduce heat loss from ingots and ladles and generally as a loose-fill insulator.