July 25, 2019

Six Reasons to Choose Denstone® Support Media

Saint-Gobain NorPro introduced Denstone® catalyst bed support media for fixed catalyst bed applications more than 70 years ago. Today, their extensive range of bed support media includes Denstone® 57, 2000, 99, and the innovative Denstone® deltaP® shaped media, a full line of support media that provides consistent, worry-free support for catalysts of all sizes and materials, offering numerous reasons to choose Saint-Gobain NorPro as a preferred supplier.

Reason #1: Regional manufacturing locations

Saint-Gobain NorPro is an ISO 9001 certified supplier, with regional manufacturing facilities and teams located in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Having three locations provides security of supply unmatched by single location competitors, enabling quicker customer response and delivery. This can make a world of difference if your plant is in a turnaround and timely product delivery is critical. The company maintains a strong commitment to corporate governance and sustainability with a heightened quality emphasis on raw material selection, formulation design and process controls.

All three locations adhere to ISO-certified processes for each of their regions’ requirements. From raw material selection to mixing, forming and firing operations, in-process quality checks help ensure unparalleled consistency and reliability. Denstone® support media is also subject to rigorous and comprehensive in-house standardized qualification test methods prior to shipment. These engineering controls ensure each batch of ceramic support media maintains the consistency, reliability and structural integrity that Saint-Gobain NorPro’s Denstone brand of support media has become synonymous with. Customers are assured that all three regional manufacturing facilities will supply the same highly monolithic support media.

Reason #2: Innovative Denstone® deltaP® shaped media

Saint-Gobain NorPro is the only supplier producing innovative shaped ceramic support media. Their Denstone® deltaP® shaped media is available in three sizes: P1, P1.4 and P2. Its unique structure enables an upper support layer with a typical diameter of 11.5 mm to effectively retain a bed of 1.6 mm catalyst without any migration into the support layer. This eliminates the need for micro-sized spherical support balls, reduces the number of support layers needed, reduces pressure drop and increases the space available for catalyst or adsorbent in the process reactor.

Denstone deltaP media is engineered to redefine traditional size gradation logic as only two layers are required. Available in the same formulation as the Denstone family of spherical support media, Denstone deltaP is a novel solution that addresses support media requirements for air separation pre-purifiers, natural gas dehydration, hydroprocessing and other petrochemical applications.

deltap shaped support media

Figure 1: Denstone® deltaP® shaped media defies traditional size gradation logic. Source: Saint-Gobain NorPro

Reason #3: Spherical media for numerous applications

Saint-Gobain NorPro offers a full line of support balls tailored for unique applications. Denstone® 99 is their high-purity alumina support media for high temperature, steam, ammonia processing and other petrochemical applications where silica leaching is a problem. Denstone® 2000, a ceramic support media with an engineered microstructure, offers increased survivability after thermal cycling and rapid depressurization as experienced in severe hydroprocessing applications. Denstone® 57 spherical support media is Saint-Gobain NorPro’s flagship product. It has remained an industry standard for over 70 years, providing consistent and unparalleled reliability as a support media for numerous industrial applications.

Reason #4: Unprecedented survivability after rapid depressurization

Denstone bed support media exhibits unprecedented survivability after rapid depressurization. Support media subject to thermal cycling and rapid depressurization is susceptible to spalling, cracking or splitting. Saint-Gobain NorPro has addressed support media survivability in these applications by developing Denstone® 2000, ceramic support media with an engineered microstructure.

A test method replicating the extreme pressure changes sometimes experienced in a hydrocracker tower includes an autoclave procedure where support media is heated to 850° F at 1500 psia in a hydrogen atmosphere. The chamber is then rapidly depressurized to ambient pressure. Testing results show that over 99% of Denstone® 2000 support media remained intact while the survivability of competitors’ support media ranged between 25% and 88%. The test procedure, developed by Saint-Gobain NorPro, is performed on all production of Denstone® 2000 media and a minimum of 99% must pass on all production lots.

denstone 2000 depressurization

Figure 2: Survivability after rapid depressurization. Source: Saint-Gobain NorPro

Reason #5: Excellent compressive strength

Denstone support media exhibits excellent compressive strength, resisting fracture even when subjected to demanding conditions. Compressive strength is a key performance criterion of support media and is indicative of the media’s pore structure and uniformity of material composition.

Test cases illustrate how Saint-Gobain NorPro’s adherence to tight controls provide enhanced reliability. In a flat plate crush test, Denstone ceramic support media outperforms the competition. As defined by ASTM C515, Standard Specification for Chemical-Resistant Ceramic Tower Packings, the compressive strength of Denstone product was measured at 725 lbs. while competitors’ crush strengths came in at 343 lbs. and 285 lbs.

compressive strength of Denstone

Figure 3: Flat plate crush strength of ceramic bed support media. Source: Saint-Gobain NorPro

Reason #6: Superior thermal properties

Denstone bed support media resists thermal fatigue. It outperforms the competition by retaining excellent compression strength after thermal shock.

Thermal cycling of support media is the primary form of fatigue by which compressive strength is diminished. Thermal shock leaves support media increasingly susceptible to breakage or chipping. The ability of support media to resist thermal fatigue is a measure of its longevity, and media with enhanced thermal properties can have a direct effect on operational performance. In a thermal shock test, Denstone media retains significant compressive strength after thermal shock, again outperforming the competition.

superior thermal properties of Denstone

Figure 4: Flat plate crush strength post thermal shock. Source: Saint-Gobain NorPro


Saint-Gobain NorPro has developed an understanding of support media and loading requirements for a wide range of fixed catalyst bed applications. They possess the experience and knowledge in ceramic manufacturing to tailor a solution that optimizes reactor and catalyst performance. As a preferred supplier of catalyst bed support media for fixed catalyst bed applications, Saint-Gobain NorPro delivers highly reliable support media with unparalleled consistency in product quality from all three locations.


 Contact Us to for more information on Denstone® support media.