Kaolin clay is one of the clay soils widely used in the production of paper, pottery, beauty products, and others. It’s made up of numerous minerals that bind together and produce a solid clay layer over time. Quartz mineral is one of the many elements that are present in kaolin.
Despite being the composite material of kaolin clay and other types of rocks, quartz is valuable material on its own. It comes with its chemical formula, properties, and usages.
Facts About Quartz Mineral
Whether people realize it or not, quartz is one of those minerals that practically everyone knows. As a mineral made of the Earth’s most abundant substances (oxygen and silicon), it’s definitely worth paying attention to. Below are some of the exciting facts about quartz:
1. The Most Abundant Mineral
Quartz is perhaps dubbed as the Earth’s most abundant mineral, for it can easily be found all over the world within the crust of this planet. Aside from being naturally found in chunks, it also presents a wide array of rocks, including metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks.
2. Has High Rating on the Mohs Scale
This fact supports why most furniture manufacturers love using quartz mineral as one of the most durable materials. On the Mohs scale, this mineral has a hardness of approximately 7.0.
3. It’s Believed to Offer Anti-Aging Effects
Quality has a variety of properties that make it stand out among other minerals. The ancient Egyptians, on the other hand, went a step further. People in ancient Egypt believed that quartz was able to slow down the aging process; therefore, the powdered form of this mineral to their skin.
4. Quartz Available in Almost Every Color
Quartz comes in a wide array of colors in which the most common ones include clear, gray, white, purple, brown, pink, black, green, and red. Each color represents a different quartz variety. Rose quartz, for instance, its rose red color is caused by the high amounts of iron, titanium, and manganese within the mineral.
Properties of Quartz
Each mineral has its own properties and aspects, so does quartz mineral. Even each variant of quartz differs from one another. To know more, let’s delve into the following discussions.
1. Quartz Has Multiple Colors
As briefly mentioned above, quartz comes in a variety of hues. Its purest form is transparent or white. However, different impurities inside the mineral can lead the color to change into various shades. In some instances, the color is available in more than one hue, depending on the quartz’s impurity levels.
2. It Comes With a Vitreous Luster
Vitreous luster is a property that makes quartz able to interact with light similar to glass. The amount of transparency in the quartz sample determines whether or not visible crystals can be seen.
The various crystals in transparent quartz may be seen with naked eyes because they are macrocrystalline. The opaque and translucent ones, on the other hand, tend to be cryptocrystalline. It means the crystals can only be seen with a microscope.
3. It’s a Stable Material
Quartz mineral is resistant to harsh chemicals and temperatures, necessitating the use of strong acids to dissolve them. Quartz, on the other hand, is regarded to be an extremely brittle mineral. Even so, it’s still moderately resistant to some mechanical strains because it doesn’t show any fracture.
4. Quartz is Piezoelectric
Depending on the variant, quartz is capable of polarizing light. It also has piezoelectric property, which means it can emit an electrical current when strained. Furthermore, quartz is dubbed as a triboluminescent mineral for its ability to generate light when it’s purposefully damaged or crushed.
Applications of Quartz Mineral
Quartz has several features that make it an ideal material for a variety of products. The following are some of the products made out of quartz and their applications.
Quartz is a highly stable material for it has a hardness on the Mohs scale of 7. It also has chemical properties that make it non-reactive to most chemicals, making it ideal for application in lab glassware.
Quartz sand and fused quartz are two of the most commonly used variants in laboratory equipment manufacturing. The equipment includes beakers, flasks, rods, tubing, and other glassware quartz utilized in the lab.
The piezoelectric property of quartz mineral enables this substance to properly function as a resonator, making it valuable for usage as an oscillator in electronic applications. This property also allows oscillators to operate across a wide frequency range, from kilohertz to gigahertz.
These oscillators are primarily used in consumer products such as clocks and watches. In addition, they are used in measurement instruments like frequency generators, counters, and oscilloscopes in industrial applications.
3. Metal Casting
As previously mentioned, quartz is one of the minerals that make up the chemical composition of kaolin clay. Therefore, it’s no wonder that quartz sand blends well with multiple cohesive agents like oil, resin, and of course, clay for metal casting purposes.
In addition to the properties of the quartz sand, which aid in the metal casting process, the primary microcrystalline property of quartz is also beneficial in this process. It smoothens out metals that have been cut, drilled, or cast.
Quartz is a well-known mineral that has been widely used in the production of jewelry for generations. It’s an ideal material for this particular purpose because of its long-lasting, crystalline, polishable, and hard nature.
Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz, and Ametrine are some of the variants commonly used in jewelry making. Other kinds of quartz with microcrystalline properties, such as Jasper and Agate, are often utilized as gemstones.
Aside from the mentioned usage of quartz above, this material still has an abundance of uses in a wide range of industries. All of these are possible because quartz’s chemical, physical, and electrical qualities make it valuable for many purposes.
In addition to being a valuable mineral on its own, quartz mineral is one of the materials that made up the chemical formula of various rocks and soils, such as kaolin clay. This fact adds to the importance of perhaps the most abundant mineral on this planet.