What Is Norlite?
Norlite is a ceramic material produced by expanding and vitrifying select shale in a rotary kiln fired with recycled fuels. The process produces a high quality ceramic aggregate that is structurally strong, physically stable, durable, environmentally inert, light in weight, and highly insulative. It is a non-toxic, absorptive aggregate that is dimensionally stable and will not degrade over time.
The raw material for Norlite is a thick sequence of shale, approximately 450 million years old, known as the Normanskill Shale. The rock is an exceptionally uniform, dark gray to black, very finegrained shale with occasional thin, discontinuous beds of mudstone and siltstone. Extensive drilling as well as regional geologic relationships demonstrate the uniformity of the shale and its extreme thickness, estimated to exceed 3,000 feet. The quarry is assured of a long-term supply of uniform quality raw material to maintain the feed for high quality lightweight aggregate.
In an age of energy conservation, the thermal insulation properties of lightweight concrete and concrete masonry units are of growing importance. Because Norlite is a rotary kiln expanded shale the manufacturing process creates an insulating material. Within each aggregate there are millions of minute separated air cells which greatly enhance the thermal resistance (R) of the concrete. Norlite concrete has the capability of providing more than double the thermal insulation value of normal weight concrete.
All combustible material is burned out in the manufacturing process, therefore the fire resistance of Norlite structural concrete is greater than that of natural aggregate concrete. The porous structure of
Norlite provides superior insulating performance allowing increased fire resistance.
Norlite is a chemically inert manufactured lightweight aggregate which causes no staining, popouts, disintegration or adverse reaction to metal or steel in construction.
Laboratory tests have indicated that rotary kiln expanded shale concrete has superior abrasion resistance to natural aggregate concrete.