Welcome to Imerys Performance Minerals

Calcium Carbonate

What is calcium carbonate?

Calcium carbonate is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and accounts for about 4% of the Crust.
It can be found in nature three principal rock types: chalk, limestone and marble.

Ground Calcium Carbonate (GCC) - created by nature over millions of years

Natural calcium carbonate deposits are made up of the skeletal remains of marine organisms that have sedimented to the bottom of a shallow sea.  Under the right conditions, these sediments build up over time to form thick layers. Geological movements and metamorphic processes lead to a differentiation in their crystallization, giving either:

  • chalk, a soft rock often associated with siliceous impurities. 

  • limestone, which is harder, whiter and purer than chalk. 

  • marble, which is the hardest and purest form of calcium carbonate.

Precipitated Calcium Carbonate - created by man in a matter of hours

Calcium carbonate can also be produced synthetically in the form of Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC). The transformation process consists in decarbonating limestone to separate CaO and CO2, and then recombining these elements in a chemical reactor. The final product has the same chemical composition as GCC, but with different properties in terms of particle size distribution, particle shape, and even higher purity.

Physical properties

Imerys ground calcium carbonate
  • High brightness
  • Blocky particle shape
  • High purity
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Insoluble in water
  • Alkaline
  • Adhesives & Sealants
  • Food & Beverage
  • Paints & Coatings
  • Paper
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics
  • Adhesives & Sealants

    In adhesives and sealants, finely ground calcium carbonates can be used at high loadings where they improve rheological properties, improve whiteness and opacity and generate cost savings.

  • Food & Beverage

    Calcium carbonates provide a valuable source of the bone-building mineral, calcium in the production of food, beverages and animal feed. 

  • Paints & Coatings

    In paints and coatings, calcium carbonates are cost-effective multifunctional fillers that improve whiteness, opacity and matting. They make ideal replacements for titanium dioxide.

    carbonates for paint
  • Paper

    Used in the paper production process, Imerys calcium carbonates are cost-effective filler substitutes for wood fiber where they improve brightness and paper optics. As paper and paperboard coatings, they enhance whiteness and opacity as well as the printability of the finished paper.

  • Pharmaceuticals

    Used in the pharmaceutical industry, high purity precipitated calcium carbonates (PCC) are excellent active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for antacids and calcium supplements.

    carbonates for pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics

    Used in plastics, calcium carbonates improve the quality of breathable films for diapers, hygiene, medical and roofing applications. They are excellent reinforcement agents maximizing mechanical properties in PVC building profiles and flooring.

    carbonates for diaper films

For more information, please visit Imerys Carbonates.