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In the field of hydroponics, rock wool (stone wool or also called mineral wool) has always been a popular growing substrate. Perhaps you are already proficient in growing plants with rock wool, but do you know the rock wool substrate manufacturing process? Next, we will delve into the production process of UPuper® rock wool substrate, which can help you better understand the characteristics of UPuper® rock wool and use it more effectively.
1. Row Material
The main raw material for UPuper® rock wool substrate is rock (basalt). Based on factors such as the abundance of the rock, fiber formation, and stability, comprehensive evaluation results show that basalt is the best raw material for rock wool substrates. If the quality of the raw material is poor, for example, if it exceeds the standard for harmful substances or heavy metals, it may cause irreversible negative effects on plant growth in the final product. Therefore, UPuper® is stringent in its selection of raw materials; every batch of raw materials is carefully selected, which is the first step in ensuring the high quality of UPuper® rock wool substrate.
After the raw materials are screened, they are turned into molten lava at temperatures exceeding 1400°C (2552°F), which is conducive to our subsequent processing into rock wool fibers. At such high temperatures, any microorganisms will be eliminated; in terms of microbial control, UPuper® rock wool substrate has excellent advantages, and growers do not have to worry about the presence of any microorganisms inside the UPuper® rock wool substrate that might affect plant growth.
3. Fiber Formation
The molten lava is spun into rock wool fibers through a rotating centrifuge (similar to a cotton candy machine), and at the same time, binders and wetting agents are sprayed onto these fibers. The binder helps enhance the stability and structural integrity of the rock wool substrate, making it less likely to be damaged during handling by growers. The wetting agent allows liquid to distribute more evenly in the rock wool substrate and reduces dry spots, which can help UPuper® rock wool substrate provide an ample and even supply of nutrient solution to the plant root system.
4. Pleating (Folding)
The folding in the rock wool substrate mainly determines the density. The density of UPuper® rock wool substrate is suitable for the root growth requirements of most plants. Whether it's plugs, blocks, or slabs, UPuper® rock wool substrate allows plants to grow in a suitable and consistently dense root growth environment from the seeding or cuttings to the harvesting stage.
The main purpose of the curing stage is to cure the adhesive sprayed on the rock wool fibers, remove any remaining moisture, and compress the rock wool fibers into a fixed shape of boards. This can further enhance the physical properties of UPuper® rock wool substrate and make it more beneficial for the efficient growth of plant roots in the rock wool substrate. At this point, the production process of UPuper® rock wool substrate original board has been completed.
6. Inspections and Cutting
After the production of the original boards is finished, we will conduct strict factory inspections, which include tests for appearance, physical properties, and chemical properties. This can guarantee the overall quality of UPuper® rock wool substrate to the greatest extent. After passing the tests, the original boards will be cut into different sizes and undergo further processing.
7. Deep process
In the deep processing production line, we will carry out treatments such as hole opening and grooving on UPuper® rock wool substrate as needed. The deep processing production line of UPuper® rock wool substrate is currently the only fully automatic deep processing system in Asia. This means that the quality of UPuper® rock wool substrate will be more consistent, avoiding problems caused by differences between individuals during use.
That's the general production process of UPuper® rock wool substrate. I believe you now have a deeper understanding of rock wool substrate. Every step in the production process of rock wool can affect the performance of the substrate. Therefore, UPuper® pays attention to every link in the production process and is committed to providing reliable rock wool planting substrates to growers worldwide.