What is Mica?

Mica belongs to an important and fairly large group of minerals (alumina). This mineral is suitable for numerous applications. Muscovite Mica is a clear transparent material (depending on the quality). Most people know mica of sight window in the old coal stoves and kerosene burners. Crude mica is split (in film layers it can be split up to a 100th mm) and then customized and quality sorted before further processing for the specific application. Typical thicknesses of 0.05 mm (electrical insulation) to 0.15 to 0.2 mm (gauge mica). Mica is found in sizes up to 650 cm², larger dimensions and bright qualities are less common, making their price rises rapidly.

Electrical:

Mica has the unique combination of great dielectric strength, uniform dielectric constant capacity and stable low power loss (high Q factor), high electric resistivity and low temperature coefficient and capacitance. It is known for its resistance arc and corona discharge without permanent injury. Mica is by these properties, eminently suitable as electrical insulation material.

Thermal:

Mica is fire resistant, non-combustible and can withstand temperatures of 550°C to 1250°C, depending on the type of mica. It has a low heat conductivity, excellent thermal stability and can be exposed to high temperatures without noticeable effect.

Chemical:

Mica resists nearly all mediums such as alkalis, chemicals, gases, alkalis, oils, acids

Optical:

Depending on the quality suitable as a carrier under microscopes, X-rays, protecting sight glasses and stoves.

Mechanical:

Mica is relatively soft and can be hand cut, milled or punched. It is flexible, elastic and strong, with a high tensile strength.

Flatness:

Mica is one of the flattest materials, making it an ideal carrier for organic cells. (see article Radboud University Nijmegen: ”Muscovite mica: Flatter than a pancake”).

Electrical insulation:

Mica is still used in industrial applications, such as in capacitors due to the large dielectric constant. In particular, mica is useful for cables which must be resistant to fire. Through the use of mica short circuit is then prevented. Examples of these applications include emergency lighting in buildings or on ships. In addition, mica insulation plates still being used as electrical and temperature insulation, such as isolation of resistors, transistors, capacitors, soldering irons, hot air guns (paint strippers), and many other applications of which the electrical potential needs to be isolated.

Glass Protection

Further, mica is used as glass protection for level sight glasses and transparent glasses on high pressure and steam boilers in the (mostly) chemical and petrochemical industries. A thin mica plate protects the glass from erosion by the influence of the vehicle. Mica is one of the few materials resistant to virtually all media, such as alkalis, chemicals, gases, alkalis, oils, acids. In situations where glass is not sufficient due to temperature and pressure, mica is stacked on each other, various mica (mica package). in 1.6 mm thickness mica is resistant to 320 bar pressure.

Other Applications

In a Geiger-Muller counter mica is used as a window through which alpha radiation in the Geiger-Muller tube may come.

Mica can be applied in several ways. Examples are dielectric, optical, mechanical, electrical, thermal, or a combination of these applications. Examples include ignition systems for jet engine, isolation for radiation, membranes for hearing aids, oven viewing window, insulators, radio and radar, object bearer of microscopes, in X-ray equipment and other scientific applications.

Other applications of mica (powder)

Some brands of toothpaste use white mica powder. It polishes the tooth surface and gives a pleasant glittering experience to the paste.

The reflective properties of mica are used in makeup, such as hairspray and lipstick. But also in road paint, anti-corrosive paints and metallic paints. In addition, mica powder is also used as an excipient and filler in, for example, plastics, plaster or cement.

Phlogopite mica

In addition to the transparent Muscovite mica there is phlogopite mica. This gray-brown-colored non-transparent material is not suitable for optical purposes, but well suited for electrical insulation. It has an even higher temperature resistance than Muscovite mica. Phlogopite mica is mostly used in powder form and as a raw material to produce micanite.

Micanite (Synthetic Mica)

Synthetic mica is called micanite. This product is usually made up of about 90% of natural mica powder mixed with 10% synthetic resin binder, which is processed into loose layers of mica paper. The paper is compressed to form a sheet material. It is not transparent, is has a silver-gray (micanita muscovite) or a dark gray / brown color (phlogopite micanite). Micanite has a high dielectric resistance.

We deliver micanite in rings, tubes, buses and various other moldings, or micanite flexible fiberglass or combinations. Micanite in plate form is widely used for heating elements by wrapping with resistance wire, such as for use in toasters, irons and hair dryer.