The term talc is used to refer to both the pure mineral as well as an array of talc containing minerals that are soft in texture. These minerals are mined and consequently utilized in a variety of applications. Talc is considered to be the softest mineral existing on earth. This is because it has a value of 1 on the Mohs’ hardness scale. Furthermore, it is quite easy to cut and crush. This mineral exhibits the perfect cleavage in a single direction. This is the main reason as to why it breaks into nice thin sheets. Talc has a greasy feel when touched and this is the primary reason why it is utilized as a lubricant. It is classified as a silicate mineral with a chemical formula of Mg3Si4O10 (OH) 2. It fractures unevenly and has a pearly luster. It is available in greenish, gray, brown and white colors. It has a triclinic and monoclinic crystal system.
Open pit mining is used to extract talc mineral from the earth. Most of the talc produced today is mined using the conventional open-pit technique, the drill-and-blast technique and the shovel-and-truck technique. The mills produce talc that is finely crushed or ground to the specification of the client. This is because the mills prepare the talc as per the properties that the client is expecting, the composition, brightness as well as particle size.
Talc suppliers deal with numerous industries worldwide. This is because there are several uses of talc, the main ones include the following:
This mineral is used in manufacturing of plastics. It is mainly utilized in the manufacturing process as effective filler. Its particles have a platy shape and this is what enhances the stiffness of products such as vinyl, nylon, polypropylene, polyester and polyethylene. It increases the plastics’ heat resistance as well reduce their shrinkage. The mineral’s low hardness property leads to less abrasion in the equipment used to manufacture the plastic materials. Talc suppliers always have a ready market in the plastics industry because of their numerous uses.
Talc is used in the manufacture of ceramic products like pottery, dinnerware, ceramic tile as well as bathroom fixtures. It is also utilized as filler when manufacturing these ceramic products. This is because it greatly impacts on their strength.
A majority of paints comprise of suspensions of mineral particles inside a liquid. The paint’s liquid part is what facilitates its application but it is only after the evaporation of the liquid that the mineral particles remain fixed on the wall. Talc mineral acts an extender and effective filler in paints. This is attributed to its platy-shaped particles that enhance the solids’ suspension inside the can of paint and this aids the liquid paint to adhere to the wall without sagging.
Talc mineral is applied in the paper manufacturing industry for a variety of reasons. It significantly improves a number of factors such as the whiteness of the paper, the brightness of the paper, the opacity of the paper and even the paper’s ability to absorb ink that is used in writing.
Antiperspirants and cosmetics
Talc is also heavily utilized in one of the most profitable industries on the globe i.e. antiperspirants and cosmetics industry. It is mainly used because of the fact that it readily adheres to the human skin and can also be washed away easily. In addition, the soft property of talc prevents it from causing abrasion to the skin during application.
Talc mineral is mined in many countries, distributed and utilized worldwide. It is a mineral that is quite valuable because it is heavily used by an array of industries.