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 PCC

Adhesives & Sealants

PCC is primarily used as a rheological additive in high-performance sealants

Precipitated calcium carbonates are used as fillers in adhesives and sealants. However, because of their much smaller sizes they are mainly used as the primary rheological additive in high-performance products. PCC's add reinforcement and make the product stronger.

  • fillers
  • rheological control

Food & Pharmaceuticals

Many medicines and cosmetics contain PCC, as the base material of pills, or for bulking

PCC's are used as dietary calcium, mostly in liquid products where the very small particle size is valuable. Many medicines and cosmetics contain PCC, as the base material of pills, or for bulking of liquid medicines, ointments or creams. PCC's are used in toothpaste as a viscosity aid and mild abrasive.

  • calcium source
  • mineral base
  • mild abrasive

Paints & Inks

GCC is the most important extender for paints and inks

Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) is commonly used in paint and inks as extenders to increase opacity and porosity for dry hiding. Formulating flexographic, gravure, lithographic or silk screen printing inks with PCC can improve quality whilst reducing costs.

  • extender
  • opacifier
  • finish aid


PCC is used for paper coating and surface finishing

PCC is used for similar applications to GCC but the particle size is much finer and more closely controlled, allowing PCC to be used more for paper coating and surface finishing. PCC can be supplied coated with additives to improve gloss or aid bonding within the paper.

  • filler
  • coating pigment
  • surface finish
  • brightness


PCC helps with the moulding characteristics of fine plastic components.

PCC is used as a fine and very consistently controlled filler/extender, and also to help control flow and moulding characteristics of fine components. PCC also has a significant effect on impact strength in rigid PVC

  • fillers
  • extenders
  • reinforcement
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