Mineral Fillers Consultant
Mineral fillers are essential ingredients for many commercial plastics, paints, coatings, adhesives and cosmetics formulations. They are so vital that they are now referred to as functional fillers, as a reflection of the wide variety of performance attributes that they bring to the end product. That performance depends on the type of mineral used, its particle size, particle shape, surface chemistry, electrical, thermal and optical properties. Each mineral has its own unique property set which provides for unlimited opportunities but also leads to confusion when it comes to choosing the best mineral type, grade and loading level for each application. Making the right choices takes skill and experience which is where a mineral fillers consultant can help. As a recognized authority with decades of experience, you can be sure you are in the right hands.
Some examples of how our minerals consultant services can help you:
• Identification of the optimal mineral with a comprehensive set of requirements (physical, chemical, optical, electrical etc.)
• Creating new composite materials with new properties and performance
• Commercializing new functional fillers by identifying the value proposition, development partners and customers
• Finding new applications for existing minerals, e.g. taking materials from one industry and using them in another
• Locating specialty minerals for applications in cosmetics, packaging, medical and other fields
These days everyone claims to be an expert, but when you ask for proof, they have nothing to show in support of their claim. In contrast, I have decades of experience and you can see a list of hundreds of combined publications, presentations and patents here – in addition, here are the covers of some of the key books in this field I am proud to have contributed to. Deep expertise combined with proven creativity is a powerful combination leading to breakthrough performance resulting in a technical and commercial advantage over your competitors.
My passion for mineral fillers began decades ago when I worked at the Institute for Surface Chemistry in Stockholm Sweden. We had a project funded by leading mineral companies and each wanted to find the ideal surface treatment, i.e. dispersant or coupling agent, for their particular product. Time and budget were both tight, so we needed to dramatically accelerate and simplify the process. By using a quick, cheap screening test we were able to generate valuable results without the usual process of compounding and testing which is time and money intensive. We looked at calcium carbonate, dolomite, silica, mica, wollastonite, mineral fibers and even titanium dioxide pigment. In each case we found the perfect surface treatment using the screening test and only then validated the result in polypropylene plastic.
I realized then that development of better mineral filled plastics had been dramatically retarded by two factors – the laborious, expensive compounding process and the way that scientific expertise is compartmentalized. Polymer scientists don’t understand minerals or surface science. Minerals scientists don’t understand plastics or surface science. Surface scientists don’t understand plastics or minerals. In order to make great mineral-filled formulations, it is essential to understand all three topics and I made it my goal to do just that.
Plenty of other examples of materials case studies can be found in the drop-down menu for this page and on the New Products Created page. One of the reasons we can solve problems and create new materials in so many fields in deep experience with surface and colloid science which adds to the chemistry, minerals and plastics expertise. By having knowledge of adjacent fields, it is possible to make new connections and find solutions that elude others who are confined to one field. A “Polymath” is defined below. Examples from history include Leonardo da Vinci and other prolific innovators.
“A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”; Latin: homo universalis, “universal human”) is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.”
Being prepared to read gives that ability to generate solutions far more quickly than trial and error methods. Often clients come to me having wasted years and hundreds of thousands of dollars doing experimental work when the solution was already known and published. One household name company came to me after doing just that and were amazed when within one week of starting work on the project I sent them a copy of a page from a book that showed the exact same answer that had taken them years to rediscover. Many consultants make their money charging by the hour, taking their time to provide the data and by charging you for massive amounts of unnecessary labwork. I have no lab, do not charge by the hour and I check what is already known to save us the frustration of “reinventing”. If you like the sound of a mineral fillers consultant who delivers top-class results quickly, then consider giving me a call.
As well as the standard functional fillers like calcium carbonate, dolomite, silica, barium sulfate, mica, wollastonite and kaolin, I have particularly deep specialist expertise in halloysite nanotubular clay, the iron oxide magnetite and the hybrid molecular filler known as POSS having worked for leading manufacturers of each of those products. As CTO of a halloysite mining company I collected over 700 publications about its properties and applications. Working for the LKAB Group, suppliers of billions of dollars per year of the purest natural magnetite I built an extensive library and went on to publish an encyclopedia chapter on the topic.