The BCCF - for information about calcium carbonate

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Calcium Carbonate

The World's Most Versatile Mineral

Calcium Carbonate Glossary


Chalk is a poorly compacted sedimentary rock predominately composed of compacted coccoliths (a lime-secreting algae).


Formed as limestone (see below) but the sedimentation process occurs in the presence of magnesium resulting in a dolomitisation process.


Limestone is also a sedimentary rock, but it is more compacted than chalk. It is formed from the remains of microscopic animals or foraminifera.


Marble is a coarse-crystalline, metamorphic rock, which is formed when chalk or limestone are recrystallised under conditions of high temperature and pressure.

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Calcium Carbonate – modern day uses of GCC

Adhesives & Sealants

calcium carbonate is used extensively in adhesive and sealant formulations

GCC is often the main ingredient of sealants, fillers and ceramic tile adhesives (CTA's), sometimes up to 80% of the formulation.

  • fillers
  • viscosity control

Animal & Pet Feeds

calcium carbonate is often added to feed compounds for livestock

GCC is incorporated into animal feedstuffs as a dietary supplement and antacid

  • calcium source
  • digestion aid


calcium carbonate is increasingly being used in the new area of specialist concretes

GCC has long been used as a filler in materials like asphalt, roofing felt and plasters. Increasingly other applications are emerging in the new areas of specialist concretes & grouts. Consistent particle size and handling characteristics are very important.

  • filler for concrete, grout & asphalt
  • fillers in roofing materials


GCC is used to remove sulphur dioxide upower station flue emissions

GCC is a wholly naturally occurring source of alkalinity used for flue gas desuphurisation in power stations, de-acidification of forests and rivers, and drinking water treatment. It can also be used as passive fire protection in hazardous environments, for example coal mines.

  • natural alkali source
  • fire suppressant


Chalk or limestone, as well as magnesium limestones are used in agricultural liming

Calcium Carbonate has long been recognised as a useful addition to soil for agriculture, stabilising the acidity of soil and providing essential calcium for support of crops.

  • calcium source
  • filler

Food & Household

calcium carbonate or Creta praeparata is a mandatory flour additive in the UK

GCC is used as an inexpensive dietary calcium supplement and antacid, or as a chemical binder. It can be used in less obvious ways, for example in polishing and cleaning rice, or a cleaning component in shoe polish.

  • calcium source
  • mild abrasive

Glass & Ceramics

GCC is a an essential calcium component in the manufacture of container and flat glass

GCC is a an essential calcium component in the manufacture of container and flat glass. High purity, consistent colour and low levels of impurities are essential. It is a common ingredient in pottery glazes.

  • calcium source (glass)
  • kiln control (ceramics)

Paints & Surface Coatings

GCC is the most important extender for paints

GCC is used to bulk out or extend the resins & polymers in paints. Colour is obviously important and GCC is used as an aid to pigmentation, and also to help control the finish (matt or gloss).

  • pigments
  • extenders
  • finish aids


GCC is used as both a paper filler and a coating pigment

Fine grades of GCC are used extensively in paper manufacturing. Consistent particle sizing and colour are essential. As an alkali material it reduces acidity of paper, improving the durability of printed material.

  • fillers
  • coating pigments
  • acidity control
  • brightness


calcium carbonate is the most widely used filler in the plastic industry

GCC is widely used as a filler in plastic products, comprising up to 25% of the volume, adding density, improving rheology and reducing cost. GCC is often blended or "coated" with additives such as stearates to aid bonding within the plastic.

  • fillers
  • improved rheology
  • mechanical properties
  • finish

Rubber & Elastomers

GCC is a useful extender in rubber applications helping to improve mechanical properties

GCC is useful as an extender and in controlling the flow properties of products which are to be moulded or extruded. A widespread application is in latex carpet backing materials.

  • fillers
  • extenders
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