Technology is the key to Minerals Technologies Inc.’s (MTI’s) success. Our expertise in inorganic chemistry, crystallography and structural analysis, fine particle technology and other aspects of materials science applies to all our product lines.
In the mid-1980s, Specialty Minerals Inc. (SMI) was the driving force that helped revolutionize the way paper was made in North America when makers of printing and writing paper converted to an acid-free system using our precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC).
Our Minteq International Inc. (MINTEQ) unit is one of the world's leading developers and marketers of monolithic refractory materials as well as the innovator of a laser refractory measuring and application system that is the first fully automated module for measuring and repairing refractory linings in high temperature steel-making vessels.
Innovation is also imperative in our Performance Minerals business, which includes Specialty PCC and our ground calcium carbonate and talc products lines. Our scientists are continuously seeking ways to improve and differentiate our products to provide added value to customers.
As a research-based organization, we recognize that new product development is the lifeblood of our business. We invest heavily in research to maintain our technological leadership as the premier supplier of unique mineral products to worldwide industrial markets and to maintain our growth objectives. We own or have the right to use approximately 520 patents.
The corporation as a whole spends about 3 percent of sales on research and development—one of the highest of any company in the minerals industry.
Those R&D expenditures are allocated to our research teams for SMI and Minteq and to Discovery Research. The research and development teams for SMI and MINTEQ are headquartered in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, where more than 140 scientists, engineers and technicians investigate new technologies, products and applications. About half of these employees are staff-level scientists. Many of these scientists hold doctoral degrees in inorganic, organic, and colloid chemistry, chemical engineering, paper science and fine particle technology.
MTI maintains a dynamic portfolio of trade secrets, know-how and patents and recognizes the importance of complementary technologies. We are active in identifying and acquiring selected technologies through purchase or license. MTI’s technology licensing office also offers valuable intellectual assets from our portfolio through donation, sale or license.