by Dmitry TARASOV, Cand. Sc. (Chem.), Baikal Minerals Group, Deputy Director General; Irina KULESHOVA, laboratory head, ОАО R.&D Firm Spektr Lakokraska (Paintwork Spectrum)
Broadening the raw materials base is still in the mainstream here in this country. The proportion of imported ingredients in our paintwork products keeps high, and that makes us very sensitive to the market situation and currency fluctuations. The consumer qualities of our domestic raws, too, still leave much to be desired.
Mineral fillers are an essential part of paintwork products. Such filling agents can make up as much as 50 - 70 percent of the finished items. Conversely, the amount of pigments and coloring agents goes down. As industrialized countries shifted to the wide-scale production of finely dispersed substances, something that wrought dramatic changes in formulation standards, we in Russia still stuck to the low-cost filler, chalk.
Elsewhere in the world the industry is using a wide mix of finely dispersed cost-effective minerals en-suring the required physico-chemical, protective, decorative and other standards of paint coating. In a way, the very word filler, or filling agent, has become obsolete, defunct there-instead, one opts for the pigment extender. Well, the implication is clear enough. In fact, our country is rich in minerals that could be utilized as pigment extenders. But only a few have been selected thus far.
East Siberia (Irkutsk oblast and Buryatia) holds out the best promise. True, it lies far from potential consumers; however, deposits are situated near the Trans-Siberian trunk railroad, and they are quite competitive, since the quality of local ores allows to do without flotation (dressing and separation) and further beneficiation.
Deposits of white pigment extenders in Russia.
Relatively low-cost electric power is an added advantage.
Located in the Northwest (Karelia and Kola peninsula) are Kovdor (phlogopite, amber mica) and Chupa (muscovi ... Читать далее