Glossary

Here our experts explain technical terms from our line of business.


Sorel cement

A so-called acid-base cement. The product of a reaction between an acidic solution of magnesium chloride and caustic burnt magnesite (MgO, base). Whether the mixture hardens within minutes or after some hours depends on the reactivity of the magnesium oxide used. The product is a magnesium oxychloride. Sorel cement is used in industrial flooring.

Flame retardants

In the context of fire prevention, flame retardants are designed to slow or inhibit the spreading of fires and to prevent ignition. They are applied to inflammable materials such as carpets and upholstered furniture as well as to potential sources of ignition, for example in electronic equipment. Both chemical and physical mechanism are utilized to make materials flame retardant.

Fertilizers

In addition to warmth, light, air and water plants need nutrients for their growth. Often, minerals in the soil cannot be utilized as nutrients by plants. This can be remedied by adding mineral nutrients through fertilizers, thus improving plant growth and development. Higher yields and the preservation of soil quality can be achieved. Mineral nutrients are differentiated according to their quantitative demand. Macronutrients such as nitrogen, kalium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur and calcium are consumed in higher quantities by plants whereas micronutrients like boron, chloride, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel and zinc are needed in small quantities only.

Vulcanization

Vulcanization is a process that transforms thermoplastic rubbers (natural or synthetic) into elastomers. Covalent cross-links are created between macromolecules, inhibiting the independent movement of the long polymer chains. The product shows elastic behavior. Charles Goodyear discovered the vulcanization of natural rubber with the help of sulfur as early as 1839.

Bulk density

Bulk density refers to the density of a mixture of a corpuscular solid and the continuous fluid that fills the cavities between the particles. This fluid can be air as in the case of powdery mineral compounds. Bulk density is expressed as a specific weight: weight per unit volume (kg/m³).