From plastic, rubber, textile, paper, adhesive and paints that give color to the world, to paper that sets thought in motion, specialty minerals play a vital role in innumerable industries and thus, reaching to the lives of millions, every day. This account on specialty minerals sheds light on some of the major minerals available worldwide. |
Barium Sulfate is found in nature as barium salt of sulfuric acid and in form of crystals with high density. Because of its high density it is also called as Barite (heavy spar). The crystals of barium sulfate can range from white, red to brown with subject to the minerals found around it since in most occasions it is found in association with Sandstone and Hematite. Characteristically, barium sulfate is insoluble in water, bases and acids. The compounds of this mineral are even opaque to x-rays. Due to these properties, it is widely used in medical procedures.
Yet another popular mineral is feldspar. Available in earth’s crust in abundance, feldspar is found in metamorphic rocks along with igneous rocks. It belongs to the group of silicate minerals and many different members such as silicon and oxygen are categorized under this group. The other commonly present members are potassium, calcium and sodium. Major application of feldspar is in manufacturing of wall and floor tiles as well as dinnerware. The production of glass and ceramic requires feldspar in the form of flux.
Scientifically, soapstone is known as steatite. Soapstone is a soft and easily-carved rock which is found in different colors such as brown, green and gray. Salient features of soapstone includes smooth surface, soft in texture and heat and stain resistant.
These striking properties make soapstone an ideal raw material for numerous applications. Today, soapstone is the desired material for kitchen countertops. Natural acids in wines and citrus juices can damage countertops made from other materials but soapstone remains completely impervious to them.
Calcined kaolin, synthesized by calcination process, is anhydrous aluminum silicate having enhanced whiteness, hardness and electrical properties. Characteristics of kaolin like color, softness, viscosity and particle size has made it popular for diverse industrial sectors. It finds numerous applications in rubber, paint and ceramic industry. It is used as a pigment in these industries. Though, role of kaolin doesn’t suffice to these industries. It is used in manufacture of fertilizers, detergents, cosmetics, insecticides, cement and medicines.
Julian Booth is the official content marketer for 20microns with in depth knowledge of specialty minerals like soapstone, Talc and kaolin among others. Being one of the largest producers of white minerals like feldspar, Mica, Silica barium sulfate etc., the company offers innovative products in the field of functional filters, extenders and specialty chemicals.
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