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Where to Find High-Quality Perlite and Vermiculite in South Africa

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Perlite and vermiculite can be used both as soil additives or as filter media. Due to their exceptional insulating properties, they are also often seen in the construction industry. 

Arguably, the most common use for perlite and vermiculite is in the agricultural and horticultural sectors. These minerals can retain up to four times their weight in water, and yet still aid in encouraging drainage. As a result of their porous nature, horticultural grade perlite and vermiculite help to maximise soil aeration. 

If you are keen to embrace the power of agricultural perlite and vermiculite, you will undoubtedly be looking for a perlite and vermiculite factory that specialises in perlite and vermiculite for sale in South Africa. Introducing Sun Silicates

South Africa’s Leading High-Capacity Perlite and Vermiculite Factory

Our perlite and vermiculite factory specialises in the manufacture of these high quality products for a variety of different sectors in South Africa. 

We sell perlite and vermiculite separately and we are also able to provide our customers with the opportunity to benefit from unique mixes of the two, as per their specifications and budget constraints. 

So, how can you be sure that our factory can supply you with world-class quality? For starters, Sun Silicates is ISO 9001:2015 compliant. Our high-quality perlite ore is imported from Turkish and Greek mines. The difference in quality is quite significant compared to other variants of perlite currently available on the market. It is characterised by low density while maintaining strength that ensures a dust-free product.

When it comes to processing our vermiculite, we effectively remove any foreign materials and also classify the product so that the coarser grades are dust-free. Our processes rely on natural gas to exfoliate the perlite and vermiculite, this, in turn, gives the growers the surety that no hydrocarbon deposits will find their way into the growing media, a problem that can have serious implications on plant health. The high temperature processes that are employed ensure a completely sterile product.

At our perlite and vermiculite factory, you can choose from a wide array of grades including coarse, medium, fine, superfine, and micron grades in line with your needs. 

In light of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic impact on the agriculture and construction industries, we are encouraging our customers to consider placing bulk orders and benefiting from the automatic discount thereof. Obviously, it is now more important than ever to cut costs! 

Get in touch today for more information or to place your order. 

5 Important Uses of Vermiculite

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Vermiculite is a naturally occurring, non-toxic mineral with an impressive absorption capacity. It is because of this characteristic that it boasts many amazing uses within various sectors. We highlight some of the most important vermiculite uses below. 

A Growing Medium 

Due to COVID-19, an increased number of people are spending time at home. If you are using this time to declutter, fix things in and around your living space, and tend to your garden, then you should know that vermiculite can help.

Since vermiculite can absorb three – four times its weight in water, it is commonly embraced within the agricultural industry. Its absorption ability makes it possible for the medium to keep plants moist and well-hydrated for long periods without any need for regular watering. This means that it contributes to sustainable farming and agriculture around the globe, all the while enhancing growth and longevity. 

A Ceiling and Cavity Wall Insulation 

High energy costs are associated with homes and businesses that lack adequate insulation. Because vermiculite is lightweight, it is easy to install as an effective means for ceiling and cavity wall insulation. It can also be treated to prevent moisture absorption, thus making it a solution that will last for many years to come. 

A Non-flammable Material 

Vermiculite has excellent high-temperature capabilities (non-smouldering/burning/melting). This protects your building from the rapid spread of flames in case of fire. 

A Low-Density Screed 

One of the most common vermiculite uses is to mix it with cement to form an insulating plaster. This plaster is known to possess high-temperature capabilities and optimal durability. This insulation reduces your energy usage both during the winter and the summer, thus making it a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial upgrade to your house.

A Gunning Mix 

A notable benefit of vermiculite is its ability to protect steel structures. When used to create gunning mixes, it provides buildings with the fire ratings that are required by law.

Vermiculite for Agriculture, Horticulture, and Construction Industry Uses 

Here at Sun Silicates, we specialise in vermiculite for sale in South Africa. Our vermiculite uses extend from the agriculture and horticulture industries through to the construction industry. For more information, get in touch with us today.

How to Use Soil Amendments – Vermiculite

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If you have been looking into the various growing media alternatives, you will have come across the fact that vermiculite is a firm favourite product when it comes to soil amendment. There are several reasons why you might decide to use vermiculite in the growth of plants and crops. For example, it aids in efficient soil aeration, prevents bacterial and fungal issues, helps with water retention, and encourages effective nutrient exchange throughout the growth cycle. Here is how to use it in the home garden environment.

Vermiculite Uses: New Lawns 

Spread an even layer (about 6mm) of vermiculite across the lawn after seeding, followed by a generous watering. The vermiculite will retain the water and keep it accessible to the seeds as they germinate, thus allowing for a flourishing lawn in a shorter amount of time. 

Vermiculite Uses: Garden Soil 

Throw in a decent sprinkling of vermiculite onto your garden soil along with your compost in the spring. Vermiculite can be added to garden soil along with various other soil amendments, such as perlite, to encourage optimal growth. 

Vermiculite Uses: Storing Bulbs 

Use vermiculite to help store and preserve tender, summer-flowering bulbs as the temperatures start to plummet. It will effortlessly absorb any excess water, ice, or frost from the bulbs’ roots and surfaces without leading to dehydration. For best results, store in a cool, dry place away from any direct sunlight. 

Speak to the Leading Vermiculite Suppliers in South Africa 

Now that you know some of the various vermiculite uses, you will probably be on the hunt for world-class vermiculite suppliers in South Africa. Introducing Sun Silicates. We specialise in bulk vermiculite for sale and offer coarse, medium, fine, superfine, and micron vermiculite for a wide array of applications. 

In light of COVID-19 and the impact that the pandemic has had on the local economy, we encourage our customers to consider placing bulk orders. Vermiculite bought in bulk comes with an automatic discount, which could help to give you the ‘edge’ as your business recovers. 

Contact us today for more information.

Comparing Perlite Filter Media to Diatomaceous Earth-Based Filter Media

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Are you looking for the right filter media? If so, you will probably be debating whether to opt for perlite or diatomaceous earth. Here is what you need to know. 

Perlite as a Filter Media and When to Use it 

Perlite boasts the following characteristics:

  • Angular edges that trap suspended particles
  • Neutral pH and zero toxicity
  • Low wet cake density 

Perlite is available for purchase in a wide array of grades, as the product becomes finer it filter slower, but in turn the final filtrate becomes clearer. The finer the powder, the slower the filtration rate, thus making it suitable for use in a broad variety of filtration applications. Perlite excels when fast and course filtration is required.

Diatomaceous Earth-Based Filter Media and When to Use it 

Diatomaceous earth comes in a variety of grades that includes calcined and flux calcined grades. The flux calcined grades excel when used for fine filtration. For an equivalent particle size, diatomaceous earth filter media will filter faster than the equivalent perlite product. Having said that, it is still commonly employed as a filter media for swimming pools and in general water purification applications. It is used extensively for polishing filtration in both beer and wine processing. With the higher wet cake bulk density of diatomaceous earth, and the typically higher price, the product consumption and resultant cost of filtration will be dearer than when using perlite instead.

High-Grade Bulk Perlite for Sale in South Africa 

If you have decided to embrace the power of perlite as a filter media, you will need to purchase bulk perlite for sale in South Africa. Look no further than Sun Silicates.

We manufacture all the grades of perlite, including the horticultural, construction and filter grades. Currently, our perlite filter-aid is used in the filtration of wine, fruit juices, metal solutions and a variety of edible oils. 

Since Sun Silicates is supplying essential products into the food and agricultural industry, we can therefore supply for your needs even during the COVID-19 lockdown. Bulk orders come with a discount which effectively helps to cut costs. This could give your company the ‘edge’ in terms of recovering from the economic impact that the virus has had on most industries within South Africa. 

For more information, or to place your order, please be sure to get in touch with our team.

Perlite or Vermiculite for the Optimal Growth of Fruit and Vegetables

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If the goal is to optimise the growth of fruit and vegetables, you will be faced with a decision between growing in perlite or growing in vermiculite. These options promise to enhance air flow within the soil (Air filled porosity) and regulate moisture to help plants thrive. (water holding capacity) However, there are small differences to keep in mind too. Here are the benefits of each.

Why Use Perlite? 

Perlite works well as an additive to the soil, but it can also be used as a soil replacement. It can hold around three times its weight in water, and yet still aids in maximising drainage. It is extremely porous and therefore allows plenty of soil aeration, making it a top choice for growing succulents as well as fruit and vegetables that require fast and effective drainage. 

Why Use Vermiculite? 

Vermiculite can  hold up to four times its weight in water and is known to be able to trap moisture near plant roots. Unlike perlite which maximises drainage, vermiculite acts more like a sponge. The combination of the two substrates in your growing media ensures optimal air filled porosity and water holding capacity Vermiculite also has excellent cation exchange capabilities and hence absorbs nutrients form the irrigation system and then slowly releases it to the plants . Vermiculite also finds extensive use as a capping material for the germination of seeds.

Why Not Use Both? 

There is evidence to suggest that utilising a mix of both perlite and vermiculite is beneficial to the growth of fruit and vegetables. Here at Sun Silicates, due to the fact that we not only manufacture both bulk perlite and vermiculite, but we also have the ability to mix and bag in-house, we are in a unique position to supply premixed products that are custom-made to our customer’s requirements. Our laboratory facilities can also assist in optimising your growing media as we can measure the air-filled porosity and water holding capacity and thereby optimise it for your specific crop.

Bulk Perlite and Vermiculite From the Leading Manufacturer and Supplier in SA 

Now that you know the various benefits of growing in perlite and vermiculite, you will probably be in search of a reputable supplier. Here at Sun Silicates, we are bulk perlite and vermiculite suppliers that you can count on for quality. Contact us today to learn more. 

3 Common Soil Problems and How to Solve Them

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Is the growth in your garden being hampered as a result of soil problems? Then you are probably desperate to rectify the issues and to see your plants starting to thrive once again. Below is a list of three of the most common soil problems, which also explains how to solve them quickly and effectively by using products such as mulch, organic matter and horticultural perlite.

1. Lack of Fertility

One of the most likely reasons as to why your soil may not be quite as fertile as you had hoped is a high saline content. This is a big problem for people living near the ocean, but it can also affect gardens inland, especially in cases when the water table is  close to the soil’s surface. A possible way in which to remedy soil salinity is to add a layer of organic matter to the top of the soil. This should lead to a decreased need for water and a reduction in overall salinity. 

2. Nutrient Deficiency 

Look out for yellowing foliage, frequent insect infestations and poor growth as they can all be signs that your soil is lacking important nutrients. Resolve the problem by replenishing the soil’s nutrients with the help of a high-quality fertiliser as well as nutrient-rich organic matter, such as leaf mould or manure. 

3. Poor Drainage 

Poor drainage can result in excessive moisture that can lead to rotting roots, run-off and a reduction in topsoil. The easiest and most affordable way in which to maximise drainage is with the help of horticultural perlite. It allows for improved air flow throughout the soil and holds onto the perfect amount of water, all the while letting the excess drain away. 

Excesssive drainage /rapid drying of the soil is due to the lack of water holding capacity of your soil. This can be improved this  by adding coir/peat moss or horticultural vermiculite that absorbs large quantities of water and nutrients and slowly releases it to the plants.

Supplying World-Class Horticultural and Agricultural Perlite in Bulk 

Allow Sun Silicates to supply you with horticultural perlite and vermiculite for sale in South Africa. For more information about horticultural  perlite and vermiculite and how it can benefit you, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. 

Perlite and vermiculite: the importance of growing media density

Gerbrand Haasbroek

When buying perlite and vermiculite in litres, the product with the lower density remains the better choice. Our latest blog post explains why.

Most people know that 1 liter of water weighs typically 1 kg. This fact is sometimes confused when dealing with products that has significantly lower density as is the case with growing media. People tend to buy a “bag” or per Kg not realising that there could be a significant difference in the volume of the product that you buy.

Formulation

The relationship between mass, volume and density is the simple formulation of:

Density = Mass / Volume

P = M/V

From this equation, you can generate a formula to calculate any of the other unknowns, as long as you have the other two know values i.e.

M = P X V

V = M/P

The standard unit for density is Kg/cubic meters. In many instances, people talk of densities in terms of grams per litre as it sounds “better” or beacuse, in the lab, you would typically fill a one-liter flask and weigh the material in grams.

An example of this will be Perlite that weighs 100 kg/cubic meter i.e. the density is 0.1. Instead of using this, people will call this density “100” i.e. 100 grams per litre.

Why is density important in perlite and vermiculite? 

The following are a few reasons why density is important:

  1.   In a horticultural environment, you typically want to fill a container such as a planter. The lower the growing media density ,the more volume of product you will get per kg you have bought.
  2.   The lower the density, the more air is in the medium. This allows for the following:
  3.   Improved drainage
  4.   Improved insulation in cold climates
  5.   More air-filled porosity that is required for the roots to grow and transpire.
  6.   The lighter the planter will be to move around.
  7.   When the manufacturer exfoliates the perlite or vermiculite, he starts off with a dense ore that is then exfoliated to the final low-density product. The lighter the product, the smaller quantity of initial ore is used to manufacture the final product. This leads to lower input cost, which should translate into a cheaper product for the customer. The less ore the supplier uses, the less energy he needs to produce a litre of product. Once again, this drives  the cost of the final product down. Energy cost is a major component of the manufacturing expense.
  8.   When the growing media breaks down during handling/manufacturing, the small particles find its way in between the larger particles, this, in turn, increases the packing density of the media. Fine particles are detrimental in a growing media as it reduces the air-filled porosity that in turn affect root growth. It therefore stands to reason that buying in litres, the product with the lower density remains the better choice.
  9.   There is a direct correlation between density and the strength of the particles, therefore it is also important to note that very light material might not be as good as it will need to be handled carefully to prevent unwanted breakdown. 

What is a typical density of a growing media for perlite and vermiculite? 

The density of the final growing media is determined by the exfoliation process as well as the original ore quality. Growing media with density ranging from 70 to 120 g/liter is typical.

Need more information about perlite or vermiculite? Then contact us today.

How to Use Perlite in Growing Media

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You might have heard all about the benefits of horticultural perlite, such as its ease of use, sustainability, affordability and convenience. If so, you may be wondering how to put it to good use in your residential, commercial or agricultural gardens. Here is what you need to know. 

Why Should I Consider Growing in Perlite?

Horticultural  perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that effectively stores moisture and nutrients for plants. Perlite only retains a complementary amount of moisture based on the rate at which the plant absorbs it, all the while allowing any excess to drain away. Along with these benefits, perlite is a great choice for gardeners and farmers because it is clean, lightweight, sterile and environmentally friendly.

How to Start Growing in Perlite

The first step is choosing what type of perlite to use. It is available in three different , namely coarse/large, medium, and fine. 

  • Coarse Agricultural Perlite

Due to the fact that coarse horticultural perlite has the highest level of porosity, it maximises drainage and allows for better airflow throughout the soil. For this reason, coarse perlite is often a great choice for both residential and commercial gardens. 

  • Medium Perlite

This grade is typically used in the construction industry, however it can also be used when you are propagating seedlings in small trays. It can also be used in pots or bags on its own, for growing tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

  • Fine Perlite

The fine perlite entrains more water than the coarser grades and is used in a similar applications as the medium perlite as well as when rapid root production is required. As such, you will often find it in rooting cuttings and seed-starting mixes.

Finally, you can also utilise horticultural  perlite in hydroponics. 

We Manufacture High-Quality Horticultural Perlite 

There are many reasons why you should consider Sun Silicates as your trusted horticultural perlite supplier. For example, due to the fact that we are the only local manufacturer of both perlite and vermiculite. Furthermore we are in a unique position to supply premixed products that are custom-made to our customer’s requirements. For more information about our horticultural perlite for sale, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

The Role of Perlite in Hydroponic Culture

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Perlite has been utilised successfully  in a wide range of horticultural applications, and its role in hydroponic culture is no exception. There have been a number of studies that have demonstrated the superiority of perlite in comparison to numerous other substrates  used in hydroponic culture. 

Benefits of Perlite in Hydroponics

One of the benefits of using perlite in  hydroponics is the fact that it has been proven to drastically increase crop yields. It  also works better as a rooting medium when compared to another popular choice within hydroponic culture, namely rockwool. Perlite boasts maximum capillarity and, as a result, has the ability to maintain a constant supply of water and nutrients when the plant container is placed in a shallow reservoir of a solution rich in moisture and nutrients. The perlite effortlessly draws the solution up from the reservoir, complementing the rate at which the plants naturally absorb water. 

Perlite is also the ‘greener’ choice from a reusability perspective. Contrary to rockwool, it is able to retain its superior water and air balance for a number of years as long as treated correctly. It can be reused over the course of a number of growing seasons, following which it can be used as part of a nutritious potting mix or to aid in conditioning the soil. Disposing of rockwool may be problematic as it is not a natural mineral.

Finally, it is also known that perlite is especially straightforward to manage. And, it is extremely affordable, particularly when bulk perlite is purchased from a reputable supplier.

Buy Bulk Perlite for Hydroponics in South Africa 

Are you looking to embrace perlite hydroponics in South Africa? If so, you will require a supplier that you can trust for quality. Look no further than Sun Silicates. We focus on supplying high-tech products to, amongst others, the chemical, metallurgical, construction and agricultural sectors. For more information about investing in bulk perlite for hydroponics, please do not hesitate to get in touch

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Sun Silicates (Pty) Ltd focuses on supplying high-tech consumable products to the chemical, metallurgical and agricultural industries. The company is customer and performance focused and we ensure our customers of quality products at competitive pricing.

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