There are many uses for perlite. These uses can be broken down into three general categories:

  • Construction Applications
  • Horticultural Applications
  • Industrial Applications

Construction Applications

ConstructionBecause of Perlite's outstanding insulating characteristics and light weight, it is widely used as a loose-fill insulation in masonry construction. In this application, free-flowing perlite loose fill masonry insulation is poured into the cavities of concrete block where it completely fills all cores, crevices, mortar areas and ear holes. In addition to providing thermal insulation, perlite enhances fire ratings, reduces noise transmission and it is rot, vermin and termite resistant Perlite is also ideal for insulating low temperature and cryogenic vessels.

When perlite is used as an aggregate in concrete, a lightweight, fire resistant, insulating concrete is produced that is ideal for roof decks and other applications. Perlite can also be used as an aggregate in Portland cement and gypsum plasters for exterior applications and for the fire protection of beams and columns.

Other construction applications include under-floor insulation, chimney linings, paint texturing, gypsum boards, ceiling tiles and roof insulation boards.

Horticultural Applications

HorticultureIn horticultural applications, perlite is used as a component of soilless growing mixes as it provides aeration and optimum moisture retention for superior plant growth. For root cuttings, 100% perlite is used. Studies have shown that outstanding yields are achieved with perlite hydroponic systems.

Other benefits of horticultural perlite are its neutral pH and the fact that it is sterile and weed-free. In addition, its light weight makes it ideal for use in container growing.

Other horticultural application of perlite includes as: fertilizer , herbicides and pesticides carriers and for seed pelletizing. Horticultural perlite is as useful to the home gardener as it is to the commercial grower. It is used with equal success in greenhouse growing, landscaping applications and in the home in house plants.

Industrial Applications

IndustrialIndustrial applications for perlite are the most diverse, ranging from high performance fillers for plastics to cements for petroleum, water and geothermal wells. Other applications include its use as a filter media for pharmaceuticals, food products, chemicals and water for municipal systems and swimming pools.

Additional applications include its use as an abrasive in soaps, cleaners and polishes and a variety of foundry applications utilizing perlite's insulating properties and high heat resistance. This same heat resistant property is taken advantage of when perlite is used in the manufacture of refractory bricks, mortars, and pipe insulation.

Perlite as an Absorbent

Expanded perlite can be used to control and clean up liquid spills. The perlite may also be used to provide rapid deodorization and dehydration of animal waste liquids. In these applications the perlite may be use din granular form and compressed into pellets of the desired size and shape. Perlite is also suggested as an absorbent media in enclosed containers for the disposal of liquid toxic waste substances.

By activating the expanded perlite with hydrochloric acid and/or sulfuric acid the material can be used as a purifying agent for waste and process waters

Perlite as a Carrier

Expanded perlite is recommended as a carrier for pesticides, feed concentrates, herbicides, and other similar applications.

As a carrier for feed concentrates perlite will readily absorb the concentrate while remaining free flowing (anti-caking), and chemically resistant to micro-biological degradation. The perlite also permits quick liquid movement between the carrier surface and the recipient of the feed concentrate

Many uses for Perlite

Crude Process Ore
Uses Sand blasting, foundry & steel industries, slag coagulant, special casting sand & mixtures, silica source.
Expanded Perlite
Uses Description
Ambient & low temperature insulation
Fire and Thermal Insulation
Roof decking, concrete floor fill, blocks, chimney lining, bitumized perlite, perlite asphalt Core filler in wallboards, cavity wall insulations, doors Refrigeration plants, portable ice boxes, containers
Medium to high temperature insulation Boiler covering in quilted mattresses and in hard setting compositions.  Pipe coverings in coaxial tubes and in compression molded pipe half section.
High temperature insulation Fire insulation in safes, rooms, etc., foundry moulds to reduce shrinkage.  Holding heat in molten metal during delay in pouring, Exothermic topping.
Filter Coat on Pressure and Rotary Vacuum Filters
Slow Medium Fast
beer, wine, hydrogenated vegetable oil citric acid, sugar, oil Pharmaceuticals, fruit juices, glucose, chemicals, wort, swimming pool water
Medium density aggregate silica, pumice, vermiculite substitute in lightweight aggregate concrete
Aeration Moisture Control Horticulture, plant rooting, seed composts, growing medium, soil conditioner, packing for shipping nursery stock, hydroponics, flower support
Hydrophobic Oil adsorption for pollution control in refineries, factories and garages
Abrasive Soaps, cleaners, polishes, wheels, disks and rub.
Adsorption Carrier of agrichemicals in pesticides and herbicides, fertilizer bulking pelletized seeds
Fillers Plastics, texturing aggregate in paints, caulking compositions, explosives
Oil well treatments Oil well cementing and low density mud to prevent lost circulation of drilling fluids.
Lightweight aggregate construction Bricks & tiles, pottery & lightweight refractory, calcium silicate products, non-load breaking fill in bridges, tunnels, floors, masonry, roofs, pipes, etc., tilt-up panels.
Feed/Litter Poultry litter, animal feed.
Acoustic Plasters, mortars, plaster boards, ceiling tiles and upper wall insulation.
Cryogenics Methane, liquid oxygen, nitrogen and other gases in containers, both for transport and in stationary plants.


Expanded perlite is an ideal medium used to control and clean up liquid spills, it may also be used to provide rapid deodorization and dehydration of animal waste liquids and as an adsorbent media in enclosed containers for the disposal of liquid toxic waste substances. Perlite is recommended as a carrier for pesticides, herbicides, feed concentrates and other similar applications. it will readily adsorb concentrates while remaining free flowing (anti-caking) and chemically resistant to microbiological degradation.


Perlite is a generic term for a naturally occurring siliceous volcanic rock. This is quarried, crushed and screened into closely graded fractions having a specific range of particle size to suit various applications.


The expansion of Perlite is produced by the raw grade ore being fed through a furnace at an elevated temperature. The melting particles cause the water in the structure to rapidly turn to steam thereby creating countless tiny air bubbles within the heat – softened glassy granules. It is these tiny glassy sealed bubbles which create the cellular structure of the ultra lightweight of expanded perlite.


The adsorption and removal of:

  • Chemical spills
  • Oil and water spillages from floors
  • Nuclear waste
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Molten materials

A carrier of anti-caking agent for:

  • Liquid fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Feed concentrates
  • Vegetable and fish oils


It is the multicellular nature and high surface area of expanded perlite which accounts for the excellent adsorption properties. This plus the ability of the product to create a low slip surface gives it an advantage over any other products available.


Water adsorption capacity of expended Perlite is as follows:

Ultrafine Superfine Throughgrade Supercoarse
Particle Size 0.01 - 0.75 mm 0.15 - 2.0 mm 0.15 - 6.0 mm 1.0 - 6.0 mm
Water Uptake (kg/m3) 880 - 900 630 - 650 470 - 490 380 - 400

Applications of perlite





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