Micronized sodium magnesium silicate, also known as microfine sodium magnesium silicate or micronized hydrotalcite, is a finely powdered form of a layered double hydroxide (LDH) compound composed of magnesium, aluminium, and silicate layers. In polymer applications, micronized sodium magnesium silicate can serve several purposes:

Flame Retardancy

Micronized sodium magnesium silicate is often used as a flame retardant in polymer formulations. It functions by releasing water vapor and carbon dioxide when exposed to heat, diluting flammable gases and suppressing combustion. Additionally, the layered structure of hydrotalcite can act as a physical barrier, preventing the spread of flames.

Smoke Suppression

In addition to flame retardancy, micronized sodium magnesium silicate can help reduce smoke emission during combustion. By trapping volatile organic compounds and promoting the formation of char residues, it mitigates the production of smoke and toxic gases.

Thermal Stability Enhancement

Incorporating micronized sodium magnesium silicate can improve the thermal stability of polymers by enhancing their resistance to heat-induced degradation. The presence of hydrotalcite can help dissipate heat and maintain the integrity of the polymer matrix at elevated temperatures.

Anti-dripping Agent

Hydrotalcite-based additives can act as anti-dripping agents in polymer formulations, particularly in applications where dripping of molten polymer during combustion is a concern. By promoting char formation and inhibiting dripping, they help contain fires and limit property damage.

Gas Barrier Properties

The lamellar structure of hydrotalcite particles can impart gas barrier properties to polymer films and coatings, reducing permeability to oxygen, moisture, and other gases. This is particularly beneficial in packaging applications where extended shelf life and protection against spoilage are important.

Rheology Control

Micronized sodium magnesium silicate can influence the rheological behaviour of polymer melts, affecting viscosity, flow, and cure characteristics. This property is advantageous in various processing techniques, including injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding.