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Pumice

Pumice is volcanic rock which has a vitreous and porous structure. The word originates from onza in Italian. Bims in German is also a common word for pumice.

Review Analysis Report

Use of Pumice

White Pumice

Toothpaste & Dentistry

The fact that pumice is hygienic means it can be used as a raw material in toothpaste, dentures and dental prostheses. Pumice powder is a preferred material for tooth polishing powder. Its abrasive texture cleans tartar and plaque build-up on teeth and is effective in achieving a brighter appearance.

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Textile

Pumice is used in a bleaching process known as abrasion. The edges of pumice are rounded off to avoid damage, then, it is used to wash denim to give it an old, used and worn appearance. Pumice also decolourises and soften the fabric.

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Red Pumice

Agriculture

Volcanic soil provides a suitable environment for growing plants thanks to supplementary nutrients provided by human and animal life, decaying plants and its own natural structure.

As a raw material, pumice is a natural hydroponics medium. The fact that pumice ore has a porosity of 85% means it has a lightweight density. Even the smallest unit of pumice ore has numerous small and large pores.

Pumice makes soil more porous and helps to ventilate the soil. It is also used as an excellent soil conditioner to regulate fertiliser feedings. Pumice is used as soil in greenhouses, areas in which bitter orange and fruits are grown, grass lawns and all types of agricultural areas. Moreover, its ability to retain moisture for long periods enables agriculture in arid soils. Pumice, at a certain depth and a certain thickness in the ground, retains and transmits moisture to plant roots according to the amount needed. It also keeps weeds from growing.

In landscaping:

Pumice accelerates plant development thanks to the minerals it contains and its porous structures helps to ventilate the soil. Therefore, drainage channels are not required for landscaping in which pumice is used and weeds do not present a problem.

Advantages of pumice in agriculture and landscaping

  • The minerals in pumice accelerate the plant’s development.
  • Thanks to its porous structure, it helps to ventilate soil.
  • It can retain the moisture of soil resulting in water savings and can make farming possible in arid soils.
  • Since pumice maintains fertiliser, it impedes its loss.

In construction:

Pumice has a density of up to 1/3 to 2/3 of normal sand and pebble. By using pumice stone mortar instead of sand cement mortar, less mechanical strength is used due to the lightness of the mortar. The use of lightweight construction products as filler and walling requires less concrete. It has the benefits of time and labour savings, because pumice concrete is lighter than common concrete in construction (specific bulk density is 800–900 kg/m3). This brings advantages related to time and labour and regular usage decreases building costs.

Moreover, gypsum, ceramic, etc. can be applied directly on the walls, these type of blocks are used in plaster, and after its application, cracking or blistering does not occur. It is earthquake resistant thanks to its elastic structure.

Advantages of pumice:

  • Since concrete made from pumice is six times more flexible than normal concrete, it is earthquake resistant.
  • Thanks to its lightness, it results in almost 17% less use of iron and lower costs related to building foundations.
  • High fire resistance makes the building safer.
  • High thermal resistance results in lower heating and cooling costs.
  • Maximum sound insulation provides comfort in the place of use.
  • Its lightweight structure increases labour performance up to 30%.
  • It is more efficient in sticking to plaster. The easier the work, the lower the cost.
  • Thanks to its frost resistance, it is not damaged when freezing occurs.

In filtration:

Pumice is not harmful to health, so it can be used to filter drinking water.

In cosmetics:

Pumice as a raw material can be used on the heels of feet. It does not cause any problems related to hygiene. Especially, heel stones made of pumice used for hells slough away the dead skin on heels.

Use of pumice in metal and plastic industry:

Pumice is used in cleaning and polishing, to make vibrating materials, for electrical deposition and to clean mould.

Use of pumice in the furniture industry:

It is used for its abrasive properties in polishing and to make motifs on picture frames.

Use of pumice in construction restoration:

Today many developed countries clean dirty facades with pumice stone instead of sand. Due to its soft abrasive features, pumice stone enables building surfaces to be cleaned without damaging them.

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