Filler (materials)

Filler (materials)

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Fillers are particles added to material (plastics, composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

, concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

) to lower the consumption of more expensive binder
Binder (material)
-See also:*Adhesive or Glue*Cement*Paint...

 material or to better some properties of the mixtured material. Worldwide more than 53 million tons of fillers with a total sum of approximately EUR16 billion are used every year in different application areas, such as paper, plastics, rubber, paints, coatings, adhesives and sealants. As such, fillers, produced by more than 700 companies, rank among the world's major raw materials and are contained in a variety of goods for daily consumer needs.

Formerly, fillers were used predominantly to cheapen end products. Today, it has been proven that fillers are also able to enhance technical properties of the products. As a result, a number of optimized types of fillers, nano-fillers or surface treated goods have been developed.

Among the 21 most important fillers, calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime,...

holds the largest market volume and is mainly used in the plastics sector. While the plastic industry mostly consumes ground calcium carbonate the paper industry primarily uses precipitated calcium carbonate that is derived from natural minerals.