Basic facts about Perlite

Perlite is a generic term for naturally occurring siliceous rock. The distinguishing feature which sets perlite apart from other volcanic glasses is that when heated to a suitable point in its softening range, it expands from four to twenty times its original volume.

This expansion is possible because of the presence of two to six percent combined water in the crude perlite rock. When quickly heated to above 1600°F (871°C), the crude rock pops in a manner similar to popcorn as the combined water vaporizes and creates countless tiny bubbles which account for the amazing light weight and other exceptional physical properties of expanded perlite. This expansion process also creates one of perlite's most distinguishing characteristics: its white color. While the crude rock may range from transparent light gray to glossy black, the color of expanded perlite ranges from snowy white to grayish white.

Expanded perlite can be manufactured to weigh as little as 2 pounds per cubic foot making it adaptable for numerous applications.

Since perlite is a form of natural glass, it is classified as chemically inert and has a pH of approximately 7. Uses for Perlite...

There are many uses for perlite. These uses can be broken down into three general categories: construction, horticultural, and industrial applications.