Aluminum trihydrate (ath)

We defined solid surface as a homogeneous pigmented mass formed by the polymerization of thermostable resins and, basically, aluminum trihydrate as the mineral filler of the mixture. Aluminum trihydrate (ATH) is the most common mineral filler in the manufacture of solid surface. This mineral is a white powder that has thermal characteristics that give translucency and whiteness to the product. Hydrated alumina is dry to the touch. It is chemically combined with three water molecules and has a high melting temperature.

Why are mineral fillers used for the production of polymeric composites?

The use of mineral fillers in the production of solid surfaces and polymeric composites has basically two objectives:
  • to provide the physical and mechanical properties required for the final product.To a large extent it will be determined by the requirements and standards associated with the final product. Thanks to the combination of different minerals we can:
    • modify the mechanical properties: hardness, abrasion, bending, etc…
    • lighten or increase the weight of the final product
    • improve conductive or anti-static properties
    • improve fire resistance
  • lower the cost of the mixture as fillers are cheaper than the resin itself

Advantages of using aluminum trihydrate (ATH) in the manufacture of solid surface over other mineral fillers

  • good chemical resistance. Especially in the case of acids
  • properties against fire
  • easy handling that allows to repair finished products and return them to original state if necessary
  • easy to combine with other types of mineral fillers. For example, in combination with the Boehmite, we can substantially improve the scratch resistance, the brightness and the ease of staining of the final product.

Choice of an aluminum trihydrate (ATH) suitable for our project

The mineral fillers, and in our case the aluminum trihydrate, has a direct effect on the manufacturing process of the solid surface since:
  • determines the viscosity of the mixture
  • it affects the catalysis
  • it may cause contractionsones
  • may affect the color of the final product as well as other aesthetic aspects
For the choice of the most suitable aluminum trihydrate (ATH) for the manufacture of solid surface we must take into account:
  • particle size (granding). Very thick particles will have a tendency to go to the bottom of the mixture. On the contrary, the particles that are too thin may not disperse in the mixture.
  • particle shape (milling). If the particle is like a golf ball, the resin will stick easily. If on the contrary, the particle is like a ping pong ball, it will be much more complicated.
  • purity of the particles. Avoid the presence of polluting particles that can generate black dots on the surface of the finished piece.
  • silanization


The mineral filler most used for the production of solid surface type composites is the aluminum trihydrate (ATH). Good chemical resistance and easy handling make it ideal for this type of production. The correct choice of fillers for composites will help us to improve the characteristics of our final product as well as influence the process of production and catalyst.

If you are interested in knowing more about solid surface production, we recommend you to read our extensive article dedicated to this topic. AITANA CHEMICALS offer their clients a technical department specialized in the formulation and combination of mineral fillers such as aluminum trihydrate (ATH). If you need to improve the performance of your product or want to create something new, do not hesitate to contact us.