Clemson Brick Forum

BassTech had the pleasure of exhibiting at the 63rd annual Clemson Brick Forum this year in Anderson, South Carolina. The show was a great opportunity to learn new developments in the Brick Industry and network with colleagues. The show is always highlighted by the wonderful steak cookout taking place on the 2nd night!

BassTech had a fruitful experience at the forum, showcasing our Barium Carbonate Powder. Our Barium Carbonate helps control efflorescence (the white powdery scum that can sometimes develop on the outside brick). Our Barium Carbonate also has no additives to dilute the reactivity or cause flow issues during the summer months and no chemistries needed that could possibly react with the humidity leading to agglomeration.

In addition to Barium Carbonate, this was the first year BassTech showcased our newest material to the Brick Industry, Fabutit 734. Fabutit 734 is a high performance deflocculant optimized exclusively for clay bodies. The product has a documented record of significantly decreasing water demand by improving surface tension between particles, while increasing green strength and extrusion quality.

If you were unable to talk to us at the show, please reach out to us by email or call 201-569-8686. A member of our highly knowledgable sales team will be happy work with you on fulfilling your supply needs.

Posted in Blog

Fabutit 734 – Higher Output, Tighter Tolerances and Savings

BassTech International has been a steady presence in the Brick and Tile Industry for almost 30 years, supplying our unique grade of Barium Carbonate designed specifically to stop scumming. One of BassTech’s core philosophies is to stay innovative and listening to the needs of our customers, which includes improving efficiencies and saving money. With this mindset, we developed our Fabutit 734, a performance additive for the structural clay market.

Our Fabutit 734 is a high performance deflocculant optimized exclusively for clay bodies. The product has a documented record of significantly decreasing water demand by improving surface tension between particles, while increasing green strength and extrusion quality. Lower water demand reduces shrinkage, improves dimensional tolerances, eliminates surface cracks, lower energy costs associated with drying, reduces die wear, lower porosity (improving freeze/thaw cycles), improved green strength with an overall increase in capacity.

We are pleased to share the findings of the National Brick Research Center, who validated the remarkable benefits from the use of Fabutit 734.  Below please find attached the article describing the benefits of adding Fabutit 734 into the brick manufacturing process.


The benefits of adding Fabutit 734 into the Brick Manufacturing

Posted in Blog

Hot, Humid, and Agglomeration!


As the temperatures and humidity begin to rise, hopefully you’ll be the only sticky thing in the plant. The harsher environment in the plant may turn traditional free flowing additives into a sticky mess, clogging feeders.

In the brick industry, where Barium Carbonate is a crucial raw material in preventing scumming, some producers may use water moisture sensitive binders in the production that cause problems in the summer months. This results in clogs, dosing issues, and potential feeder damage.

BassTech International has the solution to your Barium Carbonate issues! We supply one of the highest reactivity Barium Carbonate Powders, designed specifically for the Brick and Tile Industry over the last 30 years. There are no additives to dilute the reactivity or cause flow issues during the summer months and no chemistries needed that could possibly react with the humidity leading to agglomeration. With a purity of 99.2% minimum, it’s the best value on the market. It is available in 25-kg bags or 1000-kg supersacks from local stocks throughout the United States.

Isn’t it time to save costs, while improving performance?  Be the hero; chose BassTech’s Barium Carbonate.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a Brick or Refractory manufacturer? We provide high-quality additives such as Barium Carbonate and Specialty Metal Phosphates to your industry, and can deliver container-load quantities of materials right to your door! To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you with your chemical needs, feel free to reach out to one of our industry chemical experts.

Posted in Blog, Chemical

BassTech Partners with Leverton-Clarke

BassTech International is proud to partner with Leverton-Clarke for the sale of their Lithium Chemistries in North America. Leverton-Clarke is a well respected producer of Lithium Salts in Europe with over 30 years in the industry. BassTech will supply material from local inventory, offering a competitive product in this escalating market. Please inquire with a member of our knowledgably sales team on we can fulfill your supply needs.

Posted in Blog

Ceramics Expo

BassTech International recently attended this year’s Ceramics Expo in Cleveland, Ohio. This was the first year that BassTech walked the show and did not exhibit. The three-day show was filled with informative talks and networking opportunities to discuss products, manufacturing capabilities, and new developments in the Ceramic’s Industry.

We were eager to talk to members of the ceramics industry about the numerous performance additives BassTech can supply. The main products discussed at the trade show were the Budenheim Phosphates, Barium Salts, and Strontium Salts. In the ceramics industry, the phosphates are mainly used in Refractory, Glass, Waterglass, and Gypsum/Cement industries.

If you missed us at the show, please give us a call! A member of our highly knowledgeable team will be able to assist you with any questions and provide additional information on the materials.

Posted in Blog

Adhesive & Sealant Convention

BassTech International recently attended this year’s Adhesive & Sealant Convention in Atlanta. BassTech regularly attends the event, but this show was the first time we exhibited at the convention and it was very insightful. The one-day show had more than 700 suppliers, customers, and industry experts to gather and discuss the Adhesive and Sealant Industry.

BassTech was excited to exhibit our new product lines that we have begun to supply into the Industry. We are the exclusive North American Agent for Laborchemie Apolda’s Boron Trifluoride Amine Complex line. The complexes are found in the adhesive industry due to their fast curing time and high heat capacity. Additionally, we are a leading supplier of Engineered Polymers to the Industry such as Polyethylene Wax, Butyl Rubber, and Polyolefin Elastomers.

If you missed us at the show or were not able to attend, please do not hesitate to contact us! A member of our highly knowledgeable team will be able to assist you with any questions or provide additional information on the materials.

Posted in Blog

BassTech Exclusive North American Agent for Laborchemie Apolda’s BF3 Amine Complexes

BassTech International is proud to represent Laborchemie Apolda for the sale of their BF3-MEA and other complexes to the Epoxy, Composition, and Adhesive Industries in North America.  Laborchemie Apolda is a well respected producer of BF3 Complexes in Europe.   BassTech plans to distribute these products from local stock. BassTech looks forward to servicing the Epoxy segment with BF3-MEA, along with other Complexes.


Posted in Blog

Dorfner Dorkafill H and Dorkafill Pro-Void Functional Fillers

BassTech has an exclusive partnership with Dorfner, an independent family owned company that selectively mines kaolin-rich clays from their own opencast pits. This ensures maximum quality and consistency for all Dorfner’s quartz sands products. Dorfner’s functional fillers, Dorkafill H and Dorkafill Pro-Void are radically new products that out perform any traditional Kaolin based fillers for paint applications. Since the fillers are so different than standard fillers, there is almost always an experimental and then optimization phase when replacing standard fillers with Dorkafill H or Dorkafill Pro-Void. Dorfner experts are willing to provide assistance with formulation testing and optimization and has a sophisticated laboratory where testing can be done by their experts no matter how big or small the company seeking assistance is.

BassTech International is committed to bringing Dorfner products to the North American market. Two products of particular interest are Dorkafill H and Dorkafill Pro-Void. These advanced functional fillers are so intriguing because they increase paint quality while decreasing the amount of resin required in the formulation. Any paint producer knows that the resin is the most expensive product in any formulation. In some cases, formulations with Dorkafill products have been able to reduce resin content by 20% or more. The quality of the paint remains unchanged despite the significant reduction in resin content.

Traditional fillers act like sponges when they come into contact with the resin binder. Those formulations require additional resin because a significant amount is absorbed by the fillers and therefore unable to facilitate binding, essentially the absorbed resin is wasted. The Dorkafill fillers have special surface treatment and interact chemically with the resin preventing excessive absorption of the resin. This is why Dorkafill H and Dorkafill Pro-Void formulations can be made with much less resin than standard fillers, all the resin in the formulation is utilized and none is wasted. Ultimately the quality of the formulation will rival that of standard filler formulations but with significantly less resin which translates to savings and added value to the customer.

Dorkafill H is unique in that during the crystal growth phase of the refining, special care is taken to retain the original plate-like structure of native kaolin. This creates a network of undulating plates that gives a one of a kind texture. Dorkafill Pro-Void is refined and treated in a different manor. It Is rapidly heated up during the calcination process. The water inside the mineral lattice rapidly expands and there is a “pop-corn” like effect. The escaping water “pops” leaving an extremely unique surface texture and pattern behind. This translates into excellent matting effects and coverage quality.

Both products are available through BassTech International. Samples for both products are available however we do require a brief technical discussion so that we can help select the correct product for your application. These fillers are new technology and cannot simply replace traditional kaolin based fillers. Dorfner experts are more than happy to contact customers with questions.

Posted in Blog

Ethylene Bis(Stearamide) (EBS)

BassTech International is very excited to announce its’ newest addition to our specialty line of lubricants, Ethylene Bis(Stearamide) (EBS) CAS#110-30-5. EBS is a synthetic wax made by combining two stearic acid molecules with one molecule of ethylenediamine. Together the resulting compound is a white, waxy solid that is sold as a powder in various mesh sizes. EBS is non-toxic, has no smell and is not soluble in water at room temperature. It has solubility in chlorinated or aromatic solvents.

The primary use for ethylene bis(stearamide) is as a release agent for PVC (poly-vinyl chloride) extrusion. It acts as both an internal and external lubricant to enhance malleability of the PVC resin. It will inherently lower the viscosity of the polymer resin and can decrease friction and abrasion of the polymer surface. EBS is also a dispersal agent and helps contribute to color uniformity and stability of the resulting extruded PVC product. Adding EBS to your thermoforming process will increase productivity by reducing shear stress. The overall product has a high gloss finish, smooth surface and increased tensile strength.

EBS is not just for PVC thermoforming, it is suitable as an additive for nearly any thermoplastic manipulation with benefits similar to those described above for the PVC process. EBS can be used with ABS, polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene and more. In plastic masterbatch applications it reduces the amount of resin/binder necessary which translates to cost savings. It will also help with pigment dispersal and give the finished product a more vibrant glossy finish.

Overall, EBS is an extremely cost effective and safe additive to use in the thermoplastic industry. Please don’t hesitate to contact a BassTech International representative with questions regarding this product or some of its applications. We have over 20 years serving the polymer thermoplastic industry and our experts will be glad to assist any potential customer in any way possible. Please contact us with any inquiry by emailing or by dialing (201)-569-8686.

Posted in Blog

Glycerol Monostearate and Glycerol Tristearate

BassTech International is proud to announce two new additions (Glycerol Monostearate – GMS and Glycerol Tristearate – GTS) to its ever expanding product line. Our facility manufactures over 20,000 MT of distilled GMS each year using a process adopted from German Technology. We maintain relationships with experts in the industry and several universities to ensure our products consistently achieve the highest possible purity available. Our factory is ISO 22000 certified and holds FDA certification for pharmaceutical and food applications.

Glycerol Monostearate is an excellent emulsifier and thickener. When added to baking products such as flour or dough, the dispersion of oil is increased and provides softer crumbs while maintaining overall strength. It also improves the shelf-life by inhibiting starch retro gradation. Flavoring is better dispersed and is more consistent especially in products like ice-cream and gelato. GMS is a useful additive in the production of protein infused beverages/shakes because it helps prevent protein precipitation and aggregation. GTS performs in a very similar manner however it is less hydrophilic and thickens to a greater degree due to the additional fatty acid chains.

Although GMS and GTS are primarily used as food additives, they find use in the pharmaceutical and expandable poly-styrene (EPS) industries. In pharmaceutical applications, GMS and GTS act as emulsifiers and de-foaming agents. They give lotions a soft feel and ensure proper dispersion of main ingredients. The compounds also have a slight detergent effect on their own. The primary use of GMS and GTS in pharma is lotions, hand/face creams, sanitizers and body washes. Finally, GMS and GTS are used in the EPS industry as a lubricant. Poly-styrene beads are coated with a thin layer of GMS or GTS or a combination of the two to allow for a free flowing easy to handle final product.

Please contact BassTech International for general specifications for both products. We will strive to accommodate individual customer needs and can modify specifications where applicable. Please do not hesitate to contact BassTech International with any questions.

Posted in Blog, Chemical

Additives in Rubber and Plastic Compounding

Certain additives must be added to plastics and synthetic rubbers to produce desired properties in end application compounds. Filler systems, binders and chemical additives have many different applications in compounding. These applications range from improving material strength to altering aesthetic properties.

Lubricants are one necessary additive for compound production, that improve compound flow and release. In early rubber technology development, compounds such as stearic acid and zinc stearate acted as lubricants. Today, polyethylene and polypropylene waxes are preferred because of their low molecular weight. This quality allows grains to be easily dispersed in natural and synthetic rubbers.

Binders are another type of additive. The function of a binder is to hold materials together. Amorphous polyolefin (APO) and Atactic Polypropylene (APP) are common binders for plastic masterbatches. They are also used as a base polymer for hot melt adhesives and as an extender in sealants. APO and APP are typically part of manufacturing formulations in the automotive, footwear, construction, energy and cable industries.

Another additive that is typically overlooked and underappreciated in plastic and rubber compounds are the filler systems. Quartz sand functional fillers are used to help cut costs, strengthen the elastomer, add specific properties and increase abrasion resistance. Using functional filler systems adds value by allowing the manufacturer to optimize the fill ratio while adding value to the compound.

BassTech also supplies specialty pigments (e.g. anti-corrosive pigments) and fire suppressants additives for plastics manufacturers. Compounded plastics have many uses in consumer products such as appliances, electronics, recreational equipment, furniture and packaging.

Speak with an Expert

Are you interested in additives for compound production? BassTech is a strategic supplier of APP, quartz sand functional fillers and anti-corrosive pigments. To learn more about our products, contact one of our experts.

Posted in Polymer Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Spotlight on: Budenheim

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Founded by Ludwig Utz and Jean Hershel in a small German village in 1908, Budenheim made its start by producing tartar and coffee granules during its early years. Since then, it has diversified its product offerings, becoming a global leader in producing phosphates.

Early in the 20th century, Budenheim became one of the first producers of calcium and sodium pyrophosphate as baking powder foaming agents. They were able to produce consistently high quality phosphates and found success working with Dr. Oetker, the European leader in baking and dessert powder production. This partnership proved to be especially successful in the early 1920s when the demand for baking powder significantly increased. It also led to expansion and growth, enabling Budenheim to supply phosphate salts for the production of processed cheese, flour, cleaning products, water, medicine, refractories, metal treatment and other industrial applications. Fun fact: Budenheim’s phosphates are in the buttons in military aircrafts that allow pilots to operate while wearing night vision goggles, the violet glass covering airport runway lights, developing fluids for mammograms and even part of the glass for the world’s largest laser project!

Budenheim developed its own procedure to obtain pure phosphoric acid that meets the requirements of the highly sensitive pharmaceutical and food industries. This procedure has become the current global standard for producing pure phosphate. Budenheim’s process of turning phosphoric acid into phosphate also yields 30% water, which is recycled during production. For every 100,000 liters of processed phosphoric acid, 30,000 liters of clear water are also produced.

Today, the company supplies approximately 230,000 tons of phosphates per year to technical/industrial sectors beyond just food and pharmaceuticals. BassTech is Budenheim’s North American agent for all industrial applications and is a long-time supplier to the refractory industry. Budenheim / BassTech supplies specialty phosphates such as aluminum phosphates, which are ideal as hardeners for silicate-based systems and also as components of refractory dry mixes. Others, like boron phosphate, are used in high temperature phosphate bonded refractories and flame retardants. Another example of phosphates in technical applications is iron orthophosphate, which is used in steel manufacturing, base coatings and bonding agents.

Budenheim attributes their success partly to the highest quality, application-specific service they provide to clients and continue to make developments in the world of phosphates. They are the only global phosphate producer operating a fully staffed development laboratory for the refractory and traditional ceramic industry. These products find unique applications as deflocculants, binders, anti-wetting agents and set-control agents for many of our refractory customers. With locations and partners like BassTech International around the world, Budenheim serves over 6,000 customers from more than 100 countries.

Speak with an Expert

BassTech is a strategic supplier of specialty metal phosphates like sodium acid pyrophosphate for high-shear lubricant production, sodium polyphosphates as hardeners/binders/deflocculants for the refractory industry and metal treatment. For more information about our phosphate products, contact one of our experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: , , , , ,

Sodium Metasilicate Applications

Sodium metasilicate (Na2SiO3) is a versatile ingredient in areas such as detergents, fireproofing and adhesives. This inorganic chemical is available in different grades depending on the manufacturer’s needs.

For example, sodium metasilicate 9 MOL is common as a component of wet and dry mixes in shotcrete applications. Shotcrete involves shooting a dry mix of cement through one hose, while another adds water to create a wet mixture. This technique is used for construction on structures such as buildings, tunnels and swimming pools. One key benefit of shotcrete is the strength of the resulting structure, exhibiting ten percent more resistance than standard concrete structures.

At 176℉, sodium metasilicate 9 MOL begins releasing a significant amount of water, which is needed for proper installation. It also has low dust content that leads to a more controlled worksite. Other grades of sodium metasilicate (e.g. anhydrous, pentahydrate) have been proven to improve material strength even under low temperature conditions. Alternatively, it can also be used to repair and reinforce furnace linings for high temperature uses. This method is even able to work on irregular surfaces and overhead areas due to the high rate at which material is shot. In wet-mix shotcrete, the compound’s silicon dioxide (SiO2) reacts quickly, resulting in a shorter setting and hardening time.

In addition to shotcrete, sodium metasilicates are also used in sealants. Their properties provide durability and strength to structures such as walls, bridges and slabs. Although sodium metasilicate dissolves easily in mixes, once it hardens it helps protect against aqueous solutions. In slurries, sodium metasilicate reduces the mobility of water.

While shotcrete is a popular application for sodium metasilicate, it has many other industrial and construction applications. It is used in oil well cements to prevent separation of solids from the high water-containing cement matrix. In some cases, sodium metasilicate can act as an extender, allowing a higher ratio of water to cement and thus reducing material costs. It is also ideal for fire-resistant settings such as refractories.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a cement or shotcrete manufacturer? BassTech is a strategic supplier of sodium metasilicate 9 MOL. To learn more about our products, contact one of our experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: , , ,

Ceramics Expo 2015

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BassTech is excited to attend the first ever Ceramics Expo as an exhibitor! Join us in Cleveland, Ohio from April 28 through April 30 and meet with professionals from all levels of the ceramics supply chain. Presented by founding partner The American Ceramic Society, the expo will feature speakers from NASA, The Boeing Company, GE, Corning and more. According to the official website “the event is attended by technical leaders, production directors, engineers, project leaders, buyers and senior executives interested in exploring the latest ceramic manufacturing innovations.” More than 150 exhibitors have confirmed attendance for the event.

This year’s conference is organized into two tracks: examining improvements for manufacturing ceramic and glass components and applications for advanced ceramics and glasses. Both tracks offer exciting panels featuring industry experts Other discussion topics will include sustainability in manufacturing, transportation and specialty manufacturing.

For more information or to register for a free pass, visit

BassTech will be exhibiting at booth 134. We hope to see you there!

Posted in Blog Tagged with: ,

Interesting Facts About Styrene-Butadiene Styrene (SBS)

Synthetic elastomers (or synthetic rubbers) are used in many different industries: automotive, bitumen modification, HIPS, shoe soles and masterbatch. Synthetic rubber is often preferred over natural rubber because it is higher in purity and easier to handle. One of BassTech’s core products, styrene-butadiene styrene (SBS), is a common synthetic rubber used in industrial manufacturing.

1. Styrene-butadiene styrene is classified as a thermoplastic elastomer.

As a thermoplastic elastomer, SBS is easily processed and reprocessed when heated. Upon heating, it acts like plastic and is very workable. Its structure (block copolymer with two polystyrene chains) allows for a combination of hard plastic and elastic properties.

2. Compared to traditional vulcanized rubber, using styrene-butadiene styrene can help reduce production costs.

It is recyclable, abrasion-resistant and does not require vulcanizing. SBS ages well and does not wear easily, minimizing the need for repairs and making it a cost-effective component of roofing products.

3. Styrene-butadiene styrene is very suitable for roofing applications.

SBS is widely used in roofing applications such as bitumen modification, liquid seal materials and waterproof coatings. In cold temperatures, SBS remains strong, flexible and resistant to moisture. In addition to roofing, SBS is used in paving, sealants and coatings to add cold flexibility and reduce destructive crack propagation. As an asphalt modifier, SBS prevents potholes and cracks typically caused by thermal shock.

4. Styrene-butadiene styrene is a popular material for footwear manufacturers.

According to RubberWorld, the Chinese footwear industry consumed 40 percent of SBS supply in 2010. SBS is an excellent material in footwear manufacturing for many of the same reasons that make it ideal for roofing. In shoe soles, styrene-butadiene styrene contributes to a strong yet flexible product that can be waterproofed.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a manufacturer of rubber, bitumen or adhesive products? We supply a variety of synthetic rubber materials. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, contact one of our specialty chemical experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: , , ,

Benefits of DORKAFILL® Functional Fillers for Paint

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The Germany-based Dorfner Group has developed highly sophisticated particle technology to produce high quality functional fillers for paint, glass, paper, adhesives and construction materials. They specialize in kaolin-based products using raw materials extracted from their own mines. BassTech is proud to supply Dorfner’s premium products to the paint manufacturing industry. Their DORKAFILL® line of functional fillers provides numerous benefits for paint manufacturers.

DORKAFILL® Pro_Void is a multifunctional, highly versatile additive used to optimize paint products in a controlled manner. It is primarily a matting agent but possesses many more properties that make it an ideal additive for dispersion paint formulations. Aesthetically, DORKAFILL® Pro_Void enhances the quality of the paint finish. In terms of durability, it offers good resistance to scrubbing, harsh weather and aggressive cleaning agents, making it highly suitable for use on exterior surfaces. This durability means a longer-lasting product that can help cut future repair or refinishing costs. This is truly a unique product as the material is “flash” fired to create the platelet structure.

In addition to enhancing the visual quality of the end product, using DORKAFILL® Pro_Void is also an excellent opportunity for professional painters to save time and money. It can reduce binder and/or pigment consumption and has a long shelf life. It’s also very easy to work with and is easily incorporated into existing tint systems.

DORKAFILL® H is another premium offering from Dorfner’s line of dispersion paint additives. An aluminum silicate made from a high-grade kaolin, its plate-like structure improves application of dispersion paints and differentiates it from other calcinated kaolin products. Compared to native kaolin, DORKAFILL® H makes dispersion paints much easier to work with. Integrating DORKAFILL® H produces the desired structural viscosity for dispersion, which can minimize splashing by up to 15 percent. This equates to less worksite setup and cleanup. Achieving this level of viscosity also means optimal flow and efficiency; formulations with DORKAFILL® H have been proven to cover up to 25 percent more area than standard formulations.

As well as improving productivity, using DORKAFILL® H as an additive helps lower both material and labor costs. It reduces binder consumption and the need for expensive Titanium Dioxide (TiO2). Its properties promote film formation and low surface activity, resulting in a long-lasting, superior coating result that sets you apart from the competition.

Choosing one of Dorfner’s DORKAFILL® functional fillers for your paint formulation means significantly optimizing your product’s all-around performance. Whether you choose DORKAFILL® H or DORKAFILL® Pro_Void, you are guaranteed a superior finish, cost savings and improved productivity.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a paint manufacturer? BassTech is a strategic supplier of functional fillers for paint. To learn more about our products, contact one of our experts.

Posted in Blog Tagged with: , , ,

5 Interesting Facts About Boric Acid

Boric acid (also known as hydrogen borate, boracic acid, orthoboric acid and acidum boricum) is a colorless crystal or white powder that dissolves in water. It has the chemical formula B(OH)3 and exists in the form of colorless crystals or a white powder. BassTech is a strategic supplier of boric acid for use in refractories, flame retardants and specialty glass.

Here are five interesting facts about boric acid:

1. Boric acid could be present in your television screen.

Boric acid is used to make the glass for high tech LCD flat panel displays. It enhances the glass properties under extreme manufacturing conditions, resulting in a higher quality product.

2. The average person ingests boric acid on a daily basis.

It’s naturally present in vegetables, most fruits, grains and nuts. But you wouldn’t be able to tell because boric acid crystals are odorless and essentially tasteless. Not to worry– it’s not poisonous in the very small amounts that occur in nature.

3. Boric acid has many uses in medicine.

Boric acid can be used as an antiseptic for minor cuts and burns. Its antibacterial quality helps treat acne, pink eye (conjunctivitis) and prevent athlete’s foot. Not only does it kill bacteria, it also acts as an insecticide by dehydrating insect exoskeletons. In a very dilute solution, boric acid can be used as an eye wash.

4. Boric acid increases the resistance in specialty glass products.

Specialty products like heat resistant glassware, textile fiberglass and halogen light bulbs are enhanced by adding boric acid during the manufacture process. Its properties help increase the chemical and temperature resistance of glass, resulting in a more durable product.

5. Boric acid is an ingredient in Silly Putty.

Yes, it’s totally true. When you add boric acid to silicone oil, you get Crayola’s awesome non-Newtonian toy. Did you also know that Silly Putty is technically a fluid?

Speak with an Expert

Are you a manufacturer of refractories, flame retardants or specialty glass? We are a supplier of boric acid in many forms. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, contact one of our specialty chemical experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: , ,

5 Interesting Facts About Green Chrome Oxide

Green chrome oxide, also known as chromium (III) oxide, is a very stable, durable compound most commonly used as a pigment. Because of its opacity, it’s widely used to add color, but it also has heat-resistant qualities that make it perfect for many industrial uses in paint, coatings, inks, ceramics, refractory and specialty glass manufacturing.

1. Green chrome oxide was used in ink for dollar bills

Because green chrome oxide was difficult to counterfeit at the end of the Civil War, it was part of the original ink used to print American bills. Today, the Treasury Department uses special inks and other features to increase security and prevent counterfeiting.

2. Green chrome oxide adds color to glass products

When manufacturing glass, adding green chrome oxide turns glass–you guessed it– a green color. The higher the concentration, the more intense the color. A commercial example of this is a wine bottle. It also allows some light protection to preserve the wine’s flavor. Green chrome oxide is commonly used in the production of refractory brick to line metallurgical and glass furnaces/kilns as it has a melting point of 2300°C.

3. Green chrome oxide is a pigment for paints

Green chrome oxide is often used in industrial paints where a lot of wear is involved. For example, military vehicles are painted with green chrome oxide paint. It retains its color in high heat and light exposure, making it ideal for outdoor applications.

4. In paste form, green chrome oxide can be used as an abrasive for blade sharpening

In paste form, green chrome oxide can be used to polish glass and sharpen metal blades. It’s used as an abrasive for razor stropping, as demonstrated in this video:

5. Green chrome oxide adds color to plastic products and ceramics

Not only does it add color to inks, glasses and paints, green chrome oxide also lends its forest green hue to plastics (e.g. soda bottles) and ceramics. It mixes well with clay and can be used as an ingredient in glazes.

6. Bonus fact: Heating ammonium dichromate creates an interesting demonstration

When heated, ammonium dichromate decomposes into green chromium oxide, nitrogen and water vapor. This video demonstrates a volcano-like reaction:

Speak with an Expert

Are you a manufacturer of coatings, refractories or glass? We are a strategic supplier of green chrome oxide (BassCrOx). To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, contact one of our specialty chemical experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: ,

Hazardous Materials Training

To ensure your hazardous goods are shipped safely and properly, all BassTech logistics associates are certified in hazardous materials transportation and undergo the required recertification every three years. Our staff is certified in DOT 49 CFR, IMDG and IATA dangerous goods regulations.

Hazmat transportation training covers a wide range of topics, all of which are crucial to the proper legal handling and storage of dangerous goods. Employees learn how to properly classify, document, ship and store hazardous materials. The comprehensive certification process includes education on procedures for ground, rail and water shipments so we can safely choose the best method to ship your order. Staff members also learn about proper closure methods, placarding, labeling and shipping papers. When it comes to safety, our people are well-versed in emergency response protocols. Other topics include:

  • Packaging standards and testing
  • Marking and labeling
  • Hazard class definitions
  • Security risks and threats
  • Conditions of transport

When you choose BassTech, you’re choosing to work with a hazmat certified logistics team who will create solutions custom to your needs. This means that you can feel secure about your order every step of the way. We offer just-in-time delivery to optimize your costs, maintain property integrity and assure compliance with all hazmat regulations. In addition to hazardous materials knowledge, BassTech’s logistics capabilities also include customs formalities and warehousing.

BassTech is also certified by the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) to having conformed to their rigorous Responsible Distribution program. In addition, US Customs has certified BassTech as a partner in the Customs Trade-Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) protocols.

To learn more about BassTech’s logistics services, contact one of our experts.

Posted in Blog Tagged with: , , ,

Benefits of Dorfner’s Dust-Free DORSICOAT® Products In Commercial Flooring

Dorfner Group has added DORSICOAT®, a line of dust-free, easy-to-use quartz sand and sand blends, to its already impressive product catalog. These engineered quartz filler systems are used to install slip-free, highly durable industrial flooring. BassTech has partnered with Dorfner Group to provide high-quality engineered quartz filler systems to commercial flooring manufacturers in North America.

Here are some benefits of using DORSICOAT® in flooring coatings:

1.DORSICOAT® maximizes safety in the workplace

Because silica dust is considered a carcinogen, exposure to it in the workplace is limited by law. In the United States, this is regulated by OSHA. By using a dust-free quartz sand product like DORSICOAT®, you are significantly reducing health hazards. This product is virtually dust-free and limits harmful particulates from becoming airborne and entering the body. Using this product also prevents contamination of work garments and clean spaces such as kitchens or labs. DORSICOAT® complies with Germany’s Employers’ Liability Insurance Association of the Construction Industry (BG BAU) and comparable requirements in the US.

2.DORSICOAT® is cost-effective

By reducing the amount of dust on site, you reduce the amount of cleanup and its related costs. This can cover expenses ranging from labor for wet vacuuming or water sprays. You can also save on materials such as tarps and higher grade respirators. There is also an opportunity to save when it comes to topcoat. Dust-free quartz sand means a nicer finish, which can translate to using up to 15% less topcoat.

3.DORSICOAT® saves time

Installing industrial flooring with a dust-free quartz sand increases productivity by cutting out site preparation and cleanup. Employees will spend less time laying protective tarps over sterile surfaces and dry-sweeping, and they’ll spend more time completing other projects.

4.DORSICOAT® creates a better-looking product

Installing flooring with a dust-free product means much lower levels of particulates on sites. This prevents surface defects and imperfections caused by dust inclusions, resulting in an attractive finish.

Dorfner DORSICOAT® products include:
– DORSICOAT® PQK DF 100 (self-leveling)

For more information on DORSICOAT® fillers, view the latest brochure or contact one of our quartz sand specialists.

Posted in Blog Tagged with: , , , , , ,

International Elastomer Conference 2014


BassTech recently attended this year’s International Elastomer Conference in Nashville (formerly the International Rubber Expo). The International Elastomer Conference is a premier, three-day gathering of more than 2,500 customers, educators and suppliers to exchange ideas and observations from around the world. Though the industry saw limited growth in 2014, experts are optimistic for growth in 2015.

We’re looking forward to meeting with even more rubber industry professionals at upcoming trade shows around the world. PlastIndia, Chinaplas and the NPE/International Plastics Showcase are right around the corner, so we’ll be sure to track industry trends and hopefully see growth.

Our rubbers and plastics products include Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBS), Synthetic Elastomers and Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). If you are in the rubber compounding industry and need synthetic rubber products, contact one of our highly knowledgeable representatives.

Posted in Polymer Tagged with: ,

5 Interesting Facts About Barium Nitrate

Barium Nitrate is a salt of barium and the nitrate ion. It has uses in the vacuum tube industry and the manufacture of other barium compounds. BassTech International has supplied glass manufacturers and the pyrotechnic industry with high purity Barium Nitrate for over 20 years.

Here are five interesting facts about Barium Nitrate:

1. Green fireworks and flares use Barium Nitrate.

Fireworks have come a long way since their invention in 12th century China. Thanks to advancements in pyrotechnics, today’s explosive displays are more colorful than ever. For example, Sodium Chloride yields yellow fireworks, Copper Chloride burns blue and Barium Nitrate produces green.

2. Barium Nitrate can be used to produce other barium compounds.

Barium Nitrate (Ba(NO₃)₂) is used to manufacture compounds like Barium Chloride (BaCl₂) and Barium Hydroxide (Ba(OH)₂), which are supplied through BassTech.

3. It’s used to manufacture glass products.

Don’t be fooled by the green fireworks– Barium Nitrate is also used to make high quality, low thermal expansion glass products. The oxygen in Barium Nitrate helps keep glass clearer and free of discoloration. Barium Nitrate is also used in the manufacture of optical glass. It improves the refractive index of glass used in products such as camera lenses.  BassTech is dedicated to the long term supply of products for the manufacture of glass under the European Union’s REACH Regulation.

4. The military has multiple uses for Barium Nitrate.

You may have guessed that the military world uses Barium Nitrate for signal flares in the field, but did you know that it is also used to produce tracer bullets? Barium Nitrate contributes to a small pyrotechnic charge that occurs in the bullet’s base. When fired, the bullet’s pyrotechnic flare is visible to the naked eye. One practical use for this is to follow the bullet’s trajectory and make aiming adjustments if necessary.

5. There are two ways to manufacture Barium Nitrate.

The first process involves dissolving small chunks of Barium Carbonate in nitric acid, allowing any iron impurities to precipitate. It is then filtered, evaporated and crystallized. Another way to manufacture Barium Nitrate is to combine Barium Chloride with a heated solution of Sodium Nitrate. This causes Barium Nitrate crystals to separate.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a manufacturer of glass products? We supply high purity chemicals for the production of refractive and optical glass. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, please contact our specialty glass experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: ,

5 Interesting Facts About Tundish Refractories

continuous casting of steel

A tundish is an essential component of the continuous casting system in steelmaking. Located between the ladle and the casting molds, the tundish feeds molten steel to the molds at a regulated rate. Due to the temperature extremes involved, tundish refractory linings are designed to withstand thermal shock, prevent thermal loss, prevent oxidation, and resist erosion and corrosion – all while not contaminating the liquid steel with unwanted impurities. BassTech is a strategic supplier of performance enhancing additives for tundish refractory linings, including sodium metasilicate 9 MOL and our specialty phosphates.

Here are five interesting facts about tundish refractory linings:

1. The tundish has a permanent lining and a disposable lining

On top of being lined permanently with either refractory bricks or monolithics, a tundish also has a disposable lining. The disposable lining acts as a thermal and chemical barrier that protects the permanent liner while maintaining the temperature of the molten metal, and it needs to be replaced after one or more heats of molten steel. This refractory lining, which is sprayed on between heat cycles, contains our unique phosphate binder/deflocculant system that cures with either the residual heat or ambient temperature after cold starts.

2. Phosphates are used as binders and deflocculants in refractories

Phosphates help with strength development, dispersing other ingredients through a mix, and allowing control of set/working times.  Our phosphates are also engineered to enhance flowability, prevent oxidation, prevent out-gassing and improve strength development at elevated temperatures.

3. Sodium Metasilicate 9 MOL is a low temperature binder

Sodium Metasilicate 9 MOL is extremely stable at ambient temperature and begins releasing significant amounts of water at about 80°C, which makes it a useful ingredient as a quick binder in single component systems at relatively low temperatures. It has shown excellent success in single component blends for low temperature strength development. In addition to strength development, the water kicks off the reactions for the other additives in the refractory mix.

4. Steel and slag residue in the tundish hardens into a “skull” that needs to be removed

Aside from extending the life of the permanent tundish lining, the disposable lining allows easier removal of the tundish skull. After being removed in a process called “deskulling,” the skull can usually be cycled back into the continuous casting process. Our phosphate additives prevent oxidation from the skull without adding detrimental impurities back into the composition.

5. The product of continuous casting is usually a billet, a bloom, or a slab

Billets, blooms, and slabs are considered semi-finished products. These are the materials used for most forms of steel work and may eventually become rails, pipes, wire, rods, or tubes.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a manufacturer of tundish refractory linings? We are a strategic supplier of performance enhancing additives for tundish refractory linings. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, feel free to reach out to one of our tundish refractory experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with:

5 Interesting Facts About Polybutadiene Rubber

High-impact polystyrene, or HIPS, is polystyrene processed with polybutadiene rubber during polymerization. We’ve been supplying polybutadiene rubber to the high-impact polystyrene industry for 20 years, sourcing from producers in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Polybutadiene rubber is the second most produced synthetic rubber by volume, behind only SBR. Around 70% of the polybutadiene rubber produced around the world goes into tire manufacturing.

Here are five interesting facts about polybutadiene rubber and high-impact polystyrene:

1. Rigid but flexible plastic products are often plastics blended with synthetic rubber

On its own, polystyrene is a hard but brittle product, resulting in a lot of broken CD jewel cases. But when polystyrene is processed with polybutadiene rubber, the result is a product with the sturdiness of plastic and the flexibility of rubber. This brings us to the next interesting fact:

2. Those ubiquitous red plastic drinking cups are flexible because of polybutadiene rubber

What many people think of as a simple red plastic cup is actually made of HIPS. The flexibility of the cup gives that away. If you are drinking from a thin plastic cup that shatters easily, it might be made out of polystyrene, but there probably isn’t any polybutadiene rubber in that cup. Even foam drinking cups are made out of a form of polystyrene, but that is expanded polystyrene (EPS) and does not contain polybutadiene rubber.

3. Most golf balls have a polybutadiene rubber core

A golf ball doesn’t feel rubbery, but it usually has a synthetic rubber core surrounded by one or more outer layers. Polybutadiene rubber is commonly used as the core of golf balls. Super Balls are made primarily of vulcanized polybutadiene rubber, so it’s easy to see how this material would be useful to a golfer.

4. Polybutadiene rubber, like natural rubber, is sticky if not vulcanized

Polybutadiene rubber is sticky at room temperature. Because of this, when shipped in bales, each bale is individually wrapped to keep from sticking to each other. In order to make polybutadiene rubber — or any other rubber substance — more durable and “finished” on its own, it needs to be vulcanized. The process of vulcanization involves treating the rubber with sulfur (usually) and other additives at a high temperature until it is cured. Many products are made from vulcanized rubber, including hockey pucks, clarinet mouthpieces, and shoe soles.

5. Resin code 6 comprises all forms of polystyrene, including HIPS ♸

If you’ve paid attention to the resin identification codes on the bottom of your plastic products, you might have wondered how different products with the same resin code can feel so different. This is because polystyrene, HIPS, and EPS all share the same resin identification code.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a high-impact polystyrene manufacturer? We supply high-cis and low-cis polybutadiene rubber to the high-impact polystyrene industry. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, feel free to reach out to one of our synthetic rubber and polymer experts.

Posted in Polymer Tagged with: ,

5 Interesting Facts About Modified Bitumen Roofing

“Modified bitumen” might be an unfamiliar term to many people who aren’t in the roofing industry, but it is a common choice in commercial roofing and other flat or nearly-flat roofs. Bitumen is also known as asphalt, which has been used in roofing for over 100 years. In the 1960s, modified bitumen was developed in order to create a roofing material that has all the physical properties of asphalt along with additional flexibility and weathering benefits of plastic or rubber. BassTech International supplies the roofing industry with the most common bitumen modifiers, SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) and APP (atactic polypropylene). SBS is a synthetic rubber, while APP is a plastic.

Here are five interesting facts about modified bitumen roofing systems:

1. Torchdown or peel-and-stick? Depends on whether the bitumen is modified with APP or SBS

APP-modified bitumen is typically torch-applied. The material is rolled out while simultaneously being heated with a torch, which turns the underside of the membrane into a molten adhesive that forms a waterproof bond to the substrate as it cools. SBS-modified bitumen usually comes with the option of cold adhesive or peel-and-stick applications, making it a sensible choice when flammability of the substrate or surrounding materials is a concern.

2. Modified bitumen did away with the need for heavy gravel roof coverings

Before modified bitumen roofing came along, it was common for large flat-roofed buildings to have a heavy coating of gravel as part of the built-up roof (BUR) system. The gravel coating serves the dual purpose of protecting the asphalt from UV rays while weighing it down. Modified bitumen membranes are able to expand and contract with the rest of the roofing layers, and because they adhere directly to the substrate they do not need to be covered with gravel, although they do still need a UV-protective coating. Aside from putting much less weight on the structure, the lack of a heavy gravel or ballast cover can make it easier to find leaks.

3. Foot traffic is one of the leading causes of flat roof damage

Even a properly installed roof can quickly be damaged by foot traffic. Modified bitumen roofing is generally not used for buildings where regular roof activity is anticipated because it can wear away the protective UV coating.

4. Bird droppings are another major cause of flat roof damage

Bird droppings are acidic. Aside from being unsightly and potentially hazardous to human health, they can cause degradation of the protective granular cover of a roof and lead to damage of the layers underneath. Once this happens, it remains a problem even once the droppings have been washed away. If birds roost, nest, or generally congregate on your roof, it must be cleaned, and preventative measures should be taken to make your roof less attractive to birds.

5. You can increase the life expectancy of your roof by inspecting it before problems start

Don’t wait for leaks to develop before checking the condition of your roof. It is good practice to check it after heavy storms to make sure the surface hasn’t been damaged and that wind-blown debris isn’t clogging drains and downspouts. Standing water on flat roofs can lead to serious problems if not dealt with promptly.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a manufacturer of modified bitumen roofing? We supply SBS and APP to the roofing industry. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, feel free to reach out to one of our modified bitumen roofing experts.

Posted in Polymer Tagged with: , , ,

5 Interesting Facts About Paints and Coatings

While paint manufacturers each have their own specially developed formulas for producing paint, in general paint has four main components: the binder, the solvent, the pigment/filler package, and an additive package. Our fillers, dispersion agents, and additives are used in paints and coatings around the world that are developed for industries including architectural, automotive, sporting goods, household appliances, and ink printing. Our additives are used in formulations alongside alkyds, acrylics, and urethanes.

Here are five interesting facts about paints and coatings:

1. Food-grade phosphoric acid makes high quality phosphates for paint

Phosphates are often used as binders and dispersion agents in paint, providing smooth flow, optimizing shelf life, and improving addition ratios. But the quality of phosphates can vary, which can cause frustrating variations in the end product. One benefit of using phosphates made from food-grade phosphoric acid is that the strict quality control required for food-grade ingredients guarantees a consistently dependable product. Budenheim’s Fabutit 734 (Modified STPP) and Budit 8H are just a couple of the phosphates we offer to the paint and coatings industry that are made from food-grade phosphoric acid.

2. Scrubbable matte paint is achievable by adjusting the filler package

Flat or matte finish paints might deliver a sought-after look, but that look usually comes at the expense of wearability and ease of cleaning. This is because matte paint has high pigment volume concentration (PVC), which increases its porosity. But with the right filler package, paint manufacturers are now able to develop matte paints with good wet scrub resistance. Dorfner Group’s Dorkafill refined and calcined kaolins are engineered paint fillers that provide matting and viscosity benefits beyond what is usually offered by a functional filler. When incorporated into the filler package, Dorkafill has been proven to increase PVC while maintaining or even improving the paint’s wet scrub resistance.

3. Additives provide corrosion resistance

Corrosion causes billions of dollars in economic losses every year, so it’s understandable why corrosion resistance is such an important property in paints and coatings developed for specific industries. For automotive coatings, we offer zinc phosphate and strontium chromate that are used as anti-corrosion additives. Galvanization of the underlying metal provides additional protection against corrosion. Because road salt can cause even galvanized car frames to rust prematurely, car owners in cold climates should still wash their cars frequently – including the undercarriage, which isn’t always included in a basic car wash – during snowy winter months to limit damage.

4. Blanc fixe isn’t just for making white pigment

Blanc fixe is a workhorse of the paints and coatings industry due to the numerous benefits it offers aside from its color. As part of the filler package or as an additive, blanc fixe can enhance corrosion resistance, improve adhesion properties, add whiteness and opacity, prevent flocculation of pigments, and function as an extender for titanium dioxide. Also, when blanc fixe is used in conjunction with Dorkafill, titanium dioxide can be extended even further than with blanc fixe alone.

5. A powder coating is essentially paint without a solvent

When manufacturers apply color to metal substrates and some other materials, powder coatings are often used instead of liquid paint. Washers and dryers, lockers, lawn mowers, toolboxes, snow shovels, and furnaces are usually powder coated. But if a powder coating is never in liquid form, how is it applied? Electrostatically. The powder is typically charged and applied using an electrostatic gun, such as a corona gun or a tribo gun, while the target object is grounded. After being coated, the object enters a curing oven, where the high heat causes the powder to undergo a chemical reaction that creates a uniform film. Then, the coated object is cooled, forming a hard coating.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a paint manufacturer? We offer a variety of products that help manufacturers optimize their paints and coatings in both performance and cost. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, feel free to reach out to one of our paint and coatings experts.

Posted in Chemical

5 Interesting Facts About Industrial Flooring

When it comes to industrial flooring, different industries have different needs. Breweries, pharmaceutical, commercial kitchens, laboratories, parking garages, and aviation – to name a few – need their floors to be able to withstand all sorts of stress. Synthetic resin quartz flooring is desirable in nearly any industrial flooring application because of the quartz granules’ natural functional qualities as a filler. Our quartz sand granules also lend themselves to engineering and further innovation to provide functionality many people wouldn’t normally think could come from sand: chemical resistance, thermal shock resistance, slip resistance, abrasion resistance, ease of cleaning, and visual appeal. When the sand is in the right shape, it can also help manufacturers save money on expensive binders.

We have partnered with Germany-based Dorfner Group, refiners of kaolin and crystalline quartz sand who have been in operation for over 100 years, to bring their variety of engineered functional fillers to industrial flooring manufacturers in North America.

Here are five interesting facts about synthetic resin quartz flooring:

1. Quartz sand provides a naturally slip resistant surface

A coating of engineered quartz granules sprinkled over the surface of a floor provides the basis for a non-skid coating. With so many different grain sizes available, your quartz floor can be as rough or as smooth as you’d like it to be. Dorsimix functional fillers, along with Granucol KG colored quartz sand granules, offer excellent flow properties for ease of application, with mixtures tailored for resin pre-filling and for use as broadcast sand on fresh coatings.

2. Polyurethane-coated colored sands offer many benefits beyond color

We offer Dorfner’s Granucol KG colored quartz sands to be used as functional filler in industrial flooring and coatings. Granucol KG is coated with pigmented polyurethane and is more than just decorative; it is lightfast, abrasion resistant, and highly resistant to water, chemicals, and ultraviolet rays. An extensive pallet of solid and blended colors is available in a variety of grain sizes and optimized and/or customized distributions.

3. Flooring installation can be virtually dust-free

As part of the industrial floor installation process, quartz sand is often scattered as a dry shake and directly mixed into resins. This typically releases a large amount of dust into the air, causing surface imperfections, health hazards, and bringing any other work in the vicinity of the application to a standstill. To solve these problems, we offer Dorfner’s Dorvalit PQK, which is a dust-free filler system designed for base coats, leveling layers, and screeds that can even be applied by machine.

4. The type of synthetic resin used in synthetic resin floors can vary as much as the filler

Whether you are using epoxy, methyl methacrylates (MMA), acrylate, polyurethane, or polyaspartic coatings, we offer specially engineered quartz sands that are compatible.

5. Epoxy is the oldest synthetic resin

Synthetic resins were created to mimic naturally occurring resins: viscous liquids that are capable of hardening permanently. The first successfully created synthetic resin was epoxy, in 1936. Some naturally occurring resins are frankincense, amber, and shellac (a resin secreted by the female lac bug).

Speak with an Expert

Are you an industrial flooring manufacturer? We provide innovative engineered fillers to help you get the most out of your binders and improve the look, durability, and overall functionality of your floors. To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, feel free to reach out to one of our industrial flooring experts.

Photo by Dorfner Group

Posted in Blog Tagged with: , , , , , ,

5 Interesting Facts About Bricks

1. Bricks vary according to use

Most bricks are made from clay and shale and are kiln-fired, and these fall into a few different categories. Bricks that are used equally for their durability and appearance – for example, in the exterior of buildings – are known as face bricks. Common bricks are different from face bricks in that their mechanical properties are more important than their aesthetic appeal. These are often used for applications underground or where they might be covered with render or plaster. Bricks developed for use in a walkway or roadway are called paving bricks. Bricks used for lining furnaces, kilns, and fireplaces are called fire bricks or refractory bricks. Refractory bricks are specially manufactured to withstand high temperature and have low thermal conductivity for greater energy efficiency, and they can have a number of additives to improve their ability to withstand the harsh and extreme conditions they’re exposed to. We sell several products used in the manufacture of refractory bricks: phosphates, lithium salts, sodium silicates, sodium metasilicates, and silicon metal. As all our customers say, the best bricks are produced using BassTech’s additives! These are very broad categories, and there are thousands of specific kinds of bricks, each developed for specific uses. With so many different bricks to choose from, all bricks are graded for durability.

2. Bricks use Barium Carbonate to control efflorescence

The white, powdery scum that can sometimes develop on new brick masonry is known as efflorescence, or scumming. This comes from water-soluble salt deposits emerging from somewhere within the masonry wall and is preventable with the right additives. Barium carbonate eliminates scumming by reacting with the soluble salts that cause this (commonly calcium sulfate and magnesium sulfate), locking them within the clay body and hindering migration to the surface.

3. Color is controlled by chemical and mineral content

The fired color of bricks is influenced by the chemical and mineral content of the raw materials upon being fired. Fired bricks normally contain silica (sand), alumina (clay), lime, iron oxide, and magnesia. Iron is converted to iron oxide when a brick is fired, which causes bricks to have a red color. A higher lime content can cause bricks to become white or yellow upon firing. Manufacturers can offer customers more color and texture options with the usage of face coatings.

4. BassTech is located 30 miles South of the original “Brickmaking Capital of the World”

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the largest brick making region in the world was located along the Hudson River, which was home to a large natural deposit of rich clay. More than 100 brick manufacturers operated along the river, with over 40 brick making factories in the village of Haverstraw alone. Many of these bricks were used in the construction of New York City’s brick buildings. Due to various factors, the brick making industry along the Hudson declined around the time of World War II.

5. Bricks have Frogs

The indentation in the surface of some bricks is called a “frog.” There has been much debate on why it’s called a frog, as well as debate on what purposes the frog serves. There is also debate regarding whether frogged bricks should be laid frog-up or frog-down.

Speak with an Expert

Are you a Brick or Refractory manufacturer? We provide high-quality additives such as Barium Carbonate and Specialty Metal Phosphates to your industry, and can deliver container-load quantities of materials right to your door! To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you with your chemical needs, feel free to reach out to one of our industry chemical experts.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Now offering Zinc Stearate from Turkey

Modern Istanbul skyline

Upon arriving in Istanbul, I understood immediately why the area has been immortalized as the center of the universe for millennia. It was an interesting mix of European and Asian culture, forming its own unique blend owned by the local residents. This was a wonderful backdrop for my visit to our newest supplier, specializing in Metal Phosphates. The material is produced in Turkey, taking advantage of competitive feedstocks both from Europe and Asia, offering the best combination of price and performance.

I was very impressed upon touring the facility, seeing the highly automated and sophisticated laboratories to test Anti-Oxidant packages, compositions and finished products. We are currently purchasing Zinc Stearate for use as a lubricant in High Impact Polystyrene production, but will also introduce the products to our markets worldwide. In addition, they also offer a very specialized Calcium Oxide that can be pre-compounded in Rubbers or other materials to ensure a homogeneous introduction into Compounding. I believe this new strategic partner for BassTech will again benefit our customers with our growing product line of high performance products that offer a competitive edge in the market.

Overall, the experience was excellent and I look forward to introducing the Zinc Stearate and Calcium Oxide to our customers in North America and Europe. Stay tuned for my next visit to this motivating country.


Posted in Chemical Tagged with: , ,

Chinaplas 2014

Chinaplas 2014

Last month, we traveled to Shanghai to attend Chinaplas. Since its beginning in 1983, Chinaplas has grown to become the largest plastics and rubber show in Asia and the second largest in the world. We handle a range of products for these industries – including polyethylene waxes, atactic polypropyleneAPO, and synthetic elastomers – and we met with suppliers and customers to determine current market conditions and products of interest throughout the region.

This year, tens of thousands of visitors attended Chinaplas on each day of the four-day show. Close to 3,000 exhibitors from around the world came to showcase a diverse range of raw materials, chemicals, and cutting-edge machinery. It was exciting to see the innovations taking place, and there was much talk at concurrent events about improvements in plastics recycling and sustainability.

In the coming months, we’ll be exhibiting at the 60th annual Clemson Brick Forum, and we’ll also be attending Pittsburgh Chemical Day and the International Rubber Expo. See our events page for more information about all of these, and feel free to contact us if you would like to schedule a meeting with our staff.

Photo by: Chinaplas

Posted in Polymer Tagged with: , ,

BassTech International Exhibits at American Coatings Show 2014

BassTech at American Coatings Show

We recently had the pleasure of exhibiting for the first time at this year’s American Coatings Show in Atlanta. The American Coatings Show is the fastest growing trade show in the paint and coatings industry, and we welcomed the opportunity to exhibit and introduce our new partner, Dorfner, as we expand our influence in the industry.

Our paints/inks/coatings products include Polyethylene Wax, Blanc Fixe, Specialty Metal Phosphates from Chemische Fabrik Budenheim, non-corrosive pigments, and now Dorfner’s functional filler systems. As we mentioned in our last blog entry, Dorfner produces excellent and unique quartz- and kaolin-based functional filler systems and matting agents, which are used to create high quality industrial paints and coatings, decorative flooring, and industrial flooring at a great value. Contact us if you are interested in any of these products.

We’re looking forward to exhibiting again at ACS 2016 in Indianapolis.

Posted in Chemical Tagged with: ,

Not Your Average Sand

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Germany and visit BassTech’s newest partner, Dorfner Products. Dorfner is one of Europe’s oldest producers of Kaolin products, Quartz Sand, Colored Quartz Sand, and Engineered Filler Systems. The mining operation is based on an ancient mineral deposit of quartz and Kaolin in the heartland of Bavaria, which endows the sands with some very unique natural properties separating them from the rest of the world. Additionally, Dorfner has a talented and experienced R&D team to further process the sands and add to the uniqueness. Their lab has been innovating for over fifty years in terms of grain size distribution, hi-tech coloring, optimized filling capabilities, and stunning visual effects in decorative flooring.

Quartz is not rare; in fact, it is one of the more common minerals on Earth. However, as I trekked through the mining operation, I learned it was not your average sandbox. We here in New Jersey are used to secondary deposit sands, which means the sand has been moved by forces such as water or wind (like the Jersey Shore). These forces usually leave sand very rounded, with generally poor mechanical properties. Use of this sand also requires crushing the quartz, which leads to very angular and sharp-ended quartz granules that will not flow well in flooring and coating applications. In contrast, Dorfner sits atop a very old primary deposit of quartz. This quartz sand has not been rounded by natural forces and has a spheroid shape available in a wide range of sizes, so after simple sieving there are no sharp edges. It offers an excellent compromise of mechanical strength and ease of application.

The engineering touch is applied in grain size mixing, coloring, and even in additives. Dorfner’s innovative R&D team has developed some incredible products including PU Resin Coated Colored Quartz Sands, Hydrophobic Quartz Sands, Dust-Free Filler Systems, Conductive Flooring Systems, and even non-quartz based Polyester decorative flooring systems that can be laid right over existing flooring. The right combination of natural properties and technical know-how make this not your average sand.

Posted in Blog

BassTech International receives C-TPAT Certification

logo-ctpatBassTech International has been a trusted partner with our customers for over twenty years. Now we are a trusted partner of the Department of Homeland Security, having received C-TPAT Certification from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Our Logistics department completed a rigorous evaluation and documentation process to be among only a handful of importers certified under the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).  With this certification, BassTech International’s imports will continue to enter the United States on a timely basis, ensuring continuity of supply to all our customers.  BassTech International has taken the necessary security upgrades with our suppliers and transporters, offering a vital contribution to secure our borders and ensure the continued free flow of international trade.

We would like to offer a big congratulations to our Logistics department for their arduous work to ensure compliance.

Posted in Blog Tagged with: , ,

Our New Lab in Europe

To better serve our customers, we recently completed the construction of a state of the art lab in our Europe office. We’ll be using this lab to perform polymer testing and bitumen modification developments.

The lab features the following new instruments:

  • Mixing units for bitumen blending and high-shear blending
  • Ring and Ball apparatus
  • High-temperature furnace for ash content
  • Hot air oven
  • Temperate water bath
  • Penetration apparatus
  • Cryostat minus 40C for cold flex testing
  • Fluorescence microscope
  • Brookfield Rotary Viscosity apparatus
  • Density measurement tools
  • Melt flow measurement apparatus
  • DSC Analyzer

We will be posting updates about the new lab in the future!

Here are two more panoramic photos:



Posted in Blog

Infrastructure in India

India Visit

I recently returned from a multi-city trip to India. On this trip, we visited Kolkata (Calcutta), Bangalore (Bengalaru), Chennai and Mumbai (Bombay). One thing that struck me was that in all of the cities, major infrastructure work was being undertaken. Each city seemed to be building a new airport, raised highway (expressway or flyover as they are called in India) and a metro rail line.

For those of you who have visited India previously, you will understand the urgency of upgrading the country’s infrastructure, so this was really exciting for me to see. On the other hand, if you ask a local in any of those cities, “When will the construction be finished?” They all have the same answer: “Who knows, probably another five or more years, but it was supposed to be done two years ago!” While that is a bit discouraging, what they have already completed is a major step forward.

Landing at the airport in Bangalore, we were welcomed by a brand new terminal which, from the looks of it, rivals many great European airports. Next, driving the 45km to our hotel was mostly completed on a real multi-lane expressway. The road was quite smooth, and we moved along at a respectable pace (they must have used SBS – Styrene-Butadiene Styrene in their new roads).

– Sam

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St. Louis Refractory Symposium

BassTech Tradeshow Booth

Cold and snowy St. Louis at the end of March! Not what we expected when arriving at the St. Louis Refractory Symposium. Normally, the weather is beautiful and gives everyone a welcomed taste of what spring will feel like.

Despite the weather, everyone was in good spirits. BassTech and Budenheim discussed a variety of our specialty metal phosphate binders, deflocculants and corrosion inhibitors that complement BassTech’s Sodium Silicates/Metasilicates, Green Chrome Oxide, and other specialty additives provided to the refractory industry.

In preparation for the upcoming UNITECR 2013 in Canada, we redesigned our booth, which can be seen in the attached picture. We feel this will breathe new life into our marketing efforts and continue to allow us to prove we are our customers’ most dependable and resourceful partner in maintaining their competitive edge.


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Welcomed by Snow in Germany

Tired of the extreme winter weather in New York, I had eagerly anticipated spring weather in Germany.  Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed upon my arrival.  After exiting the Hyatt Mainz, I observed a crew arriving by bus from a recent Cathay Pacific flight.  Instead of immediately rushing to their rooms after their lengthy flight, they began posting pictures on social media of the SNOW STORM that was impacting the area.  For many of them, it was their first experience of snow and they were as giddy as children – thrilled with catching snowflakes on their tongues.

Later that day I moved north via the Autobahn that quickly changed to the Parkplatz (parking lot).  My goal was to introduce our new Pelletized Zinc Oxide Granular to the glass industry – complementing our Titanium Dioxide Granular and Barium Chemicals.

Luckily, the reception I received at our customer’s office was warmer than the weather. I was able to communicate how our product featured free-flowing characteristics, improved batching, less dusting and would help improve employee safety. Overall, it was a great trip, and I am pleased to announce that we have another winner!


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Strategy Meeting

We recently held in our spacious new Fort Lee, New Jersey, office a companywide Strategy Meeting. This is becoming an annual event where managers from all four of our worldwide offices meet and strategize to prepare for our next calendar year. Among the items discussed were how to expand our Inorganic Chemical business, our Compounding Plastics business, the Recycling business and the integration of our new Compounding facility in India.

In addition to the important strategy planning sessions we had, we also enjoyed ourselves. We dined in many of the ethnic restaurants located around our office. We also had a very enjoyable evening at Medieval Times and a delightful cruise in the New York harbor over the weekend.

A special thanks to the entire team for making this meeting one of our most successful ever. We will soon be planning our next Strategy Meeting, which will be held probably before the end of 2013.


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I recently went to the Clemson Brick Forum in Anderson, SC. This is my third year going to the show and it always impresses me how vendors continue to improve their booths year after year, some spending thousands of dollars. This year, it ranged from a paintball shooting range to female bartenders to Nascar arcade simulators.

We even upgraded our booth this year with a new logo for Barium Carbonate similar to Miller Lite, which can be seen on the picture attached to this blog post. It made for interesting conversations with the occasional trademark infringement inquiry. Do not worry though, we were giving out Miller Lite, so they received some promotion as well.

Now to think of what to do at next year’s show!

~ Tom

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A trip through Texas

Recently Josh and I traveled down to the state of Texas to visit some of BassTech’s SBS and PE wax customers. Due to a tight schedule, we found it convenient to drive from Houston to Dallas. After living in the shadows of New York City most of my life, it is always humbling to see a truly rural part of the country. The drive was a solid five hours of very flat terrain, speckled with barns and livestock. The only structures that seemed to block the view were the incredibly large high school football stadiums. It was a pleasant alternative to my usual commute, the always hectic New Jersey Turnpike.


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Organized? Chaos!

We just returned from a two-week trip to India. While we met with a network of our global suppliers and customers – and of course spent a lot of time with the talented staff from BassTech Exim India, Pvt. Ltd – we also had the opportunity to see some sights. We started our trip in the north, Delhi, and wound up all the way in the south, Chennai. One of our favorite things about Delhi was that it was not so hot, only 42 degrees C (107 Fahrenheit). Trust me, that was much better than the 47 (117 Fahrenheit) at the Taj Mahal in Agra. Beyond the heat though, we really did get to see some amazing sights.

Sites aside, just wandering around the streets is an experience in and of itself. The phrase that came to mind was total sensory overload. From the sights of the merchants on the streets, to the smells of the cows milling about, to the sound of thousands of scooter horns blaring non-stop, nowhere can you go to escape! It was amazing to think of all of the high tech wonders that are coming out of India these days and to witness the infrastructure I would imagine seeing in a movie from 50 years ago.


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Introducing Robert Zerella

As I am settling in as the newest member of the BassTech team I have been asked to introduce myself via our Global Travel Blog. I am a recent graduate of Penn State University with a background in material science. Currently I am working with synthetic rubbers and engineered polymers, mainly with styrene butadiene styrene (SBS) and atactic polypropylene (APP). I hope to contribute to all of our business in the future.

It may seem funny that my move from Pennsylvania to New Jersey made it into the Global Travel Blog, but it is a whole new world to me. I have been learning more and more each day about our business, our products, and our customers. I am pleased to admit that BassTech is a very welcoming company. I am very anxious to start traveling (beyond NJ and PA) and I promise a great blog when I return.

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Meeting Suppliers in China

I recently came back from China after attending our global strategy meeting along with meeting a few key suppliers. It was quite an experience to be able to see the local culture along with eating every meal with chopsticks (I believe I held my own). We even toured the area seeing Mt. Laoshan, Qingdao Beach, the beer museum and the Olympic sailing pier. When driving to Mt. Laoshan, I was looking at all the buildings and their roofs. When I saw every building had clay tile roofs, I thought to myself “they must use a lot of Barium Carbonate!”

Now, what everyone asked me when I returned was “What did you eat??” Being my first time, I made sure I tried everything at least once to ensure I had the full experience. We had food ranging from donkey, jelly fish, sea slugs, cow tongue, duck tongue to various parts of the pig along with trying (a lot) of Tsingtao Beer, the local favorite! I can’t wait to travel overseas again.

– Tom

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