Diatomaceous Earth

Published: | Updated: July 5, 2018

Definition - What does Diatomaceous Earth mean?

Diatomaceous earth is a type of naturally occurring soft siliceous sedimentary rock. Due to its softness, it can be crumbled or crushed to a white or off-white very fine powder-like siliceous substance that has several purposes, including as a polishing powder.

Diatomaceous earth may also be known as kieselguhr, DE diatomite, or diatomite.

Corrosionpedia explains Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a light and soft sedimentary rock that is mostly soil consisting of siliceous diatoms, which are the remains of microscopic organisms.

The powder has several purposes, including:

  • Polishing metal surfaces
  • As filtering materials, such as in filter screens consisting of cellulose fibers
  • An ingredient in toothpaste
  • An ingredient in insecticides
  • Coating preparation
  • Reinforcing filler in rubber and plastics

The particle size of the powder produced from diatomaceous earth ranges from 10 to 200 micrometers. The composition of the powder is:

  • Silica: 80% - 90%
  • Alumina: 2% - 4%
  • Iron oxide: 0.5% - 2%

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