Sierra Rutile's products
Sierra Rutile’s primary product is rutile, a raw form of titanium dioxide (TiO2). Rutile is one of a number (TiO2) feedstock used in the production of white pigment, itself used in the (global) manufacture of paint, plastics and paper.
Other feedstocks for the pigment industry include ilmenite, synthetic rutile, leucoxene and titanium slag. Different feedstocks are processed by either the chloride or the sulphate process.
TiO2 pigment is preferred due to its attractive characteristics of high brightness and opacity, which far surpass any substitutes.
Rutile is the premium (TiO2) feedstock:
- The chloride pigment process is favoured for its more efficient, cleaner and lower cost process. Only a limited number of feedstocks can be used in the chloride process
- The highest quality pigments grades can only be produced using the chloride process
- All other chloride process feedstocks need upgrading before they can be used in the chlorination process
- This means use of lower-quality feedstocks involves significant additional energy, processing, waste and raw material costs.
In addition to pigment, an increasing volume of rutile is consumed in the titanium metal and welding industries. Both these applications require a feedstock with the highest content of TiO2 possible, of which rutile, with TiO2, grades of over 95%, is the highest.
Furthermore, for these precision applications, minimizing impurities is essential.
Sierra Rutile’s product is both high-grade and very low in impurities.
Demand for both titanium metal and high-end welding flux is increasing considerably due to the manufacturing demands of modern aircraft, ships and defence industries.
Sierra Rutile also produces by-product ilmenite and zircon from its primary rutile production. Ilmenite is used as a lower-grade feedstock in pigment manufacture while zircon is used in the global ceramics industry.