Silica fume for gypsum boards

Gypsum boards: an efficient end-to-end solution for interior surfaces

Gypsum board – also referred to as drywall, wallboard or plaster board – has become the most convenient and widely used material for interior wall and ceiling coverings. These practical gypsum panels have replaced traditional plastering for several reasons:

  • No need for mixing on site and ease of application and finishing
  • Faster installation
  • Customizable to integrate various components to provide greater strength, waterproofing and higher fire resistance

Silica fume vastly improves the fire resistance of gypsum boards

Since 1980, under the ELKEM MICROSILICA®​ brand, Elkem has developed a range of innovative silica fume powders and slurries designed to improve the performance of gypsum boards. This is achieved through the optimization of the physical particle packing of the plaster mixture.

ELKEM MICROSILICA® delays the shrinkage that occurs in a gypsum board when it is exposed to fire.The addition of microsilica to a gypsum board recipe changes the way the gypsum crystals react to heat, this results in significant reduction of shrinkage and retaining the core strength of the gypsum boards.

The addition of microsilica in all construction materialsconcrete, fibre cement and gypsum boards – enables the achievement of the best performance levels for advanced building structures. Elkem, the world’s leading manufacturer of silica fume concrete admixtures, offers the full range of benefits that builders need and that regulators demand.

Understanding the physical principles of ELKEM MICROSILICA® in gypsum boards

The incredibly fine microsilica particles disperse quickly and efficiently into the gypsum board mix. They surround the gypsum crystals and delay the changes in the crystals form that normally occurs with fire. These changes results in significant shrinkage and board collapse.

Sustainability and safety built into gypsum boards

ELKEM MICROSILICA®, the original and market-leading silica fume, was introduced in the 1980s and has constantly been improved and diversified to meet new operational needs and comply with changing regulatory requirements.

Elkem works collaboratively with customers to determine their evolving needs, driving our R&D and working with experts in leading academic and research institutes. This approach enables us to constantly innovate and meet new operational needs, while complying with changing regulatory requirements.

Internally, our manufacturing processes continue to incorporate more renewable energy sources that generate less carbon emissions. Most of our manufacturing facilities now use hydroelectric power and we are actively exploring the integration of renewable energies. Elkem has committed more widely to sustainability with an ongoing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policy that is regularly reviewed, updated and implemented.

 

Read more:

ESG report 2021

Elkem is one of the world's leading supplier of silicon-based advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future.

Contact us to talk to our experts and construction specialists and find out how ELKEM MICROSILICA® can improve gypsum boards.