Know about Talc Minerals

Know about Talc Minerals

The natural mineral Talc is found abundantly in the metamorphic rocks of convergent plate boundaries.

Talc deposition occurs in the rocks when the heated waters carrying dissolved silica and magnesium comes in contact with the dolomitic marbles. In another process, talc is formed when heat and chemically active fluids altered rocks of dunite and serpentinite into talc.

Talc is basically soft rock that has been used since ancient days to make sculptures, bowls, countertops, sinks, plastics and various other objects. Due to the unique property of the natural mineral, it is often used for making roofing materials, rubber, insecticides, paper, ceramics and plastics. The chemical composition of the talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate mineral.

The color of talc is generally green, white, gray, brown, or colorless ad possesses a sheet structure similar to the micas. The primary reason behind the softness of the mineral is the sheets help together by van der Waals bonds and it allows them to slip past one another easily. This results in the greasy and soapy feel of the mineral and thus it is used as a high-temperature lubricant.

Majority of the talc minerals deposited in the United States are in eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains and in the convergent terrains of New Mexico, Nevada, California, Idaho and Washington. The metamorphic mineral is produced from an open pit mine and is obtained by drilling, blasting and partially crushing the ricks using mining operations.

Miners have to stay highly cautious during the entire mining procedure and avoid contaminating the talc with other rock materials. Contamination can introduce hard particles in talc and can degrade the softness and lubricating property of the mineral. Partially crushed rocks are taken to the mills and they are further broken down into minute dust form. The impurities present are further removed using froth flotation or mechanical processing.

Different uses of talc minerals:

The finely ground talc produced by the mills are used for variant applications due to unique characteristics of brightness, composition, and softness.

Ceramic products made using talc- Talc is popularly used in manufacturing ceramic products like bathroom fixtures, ceramic tile, pottery, and dinnerware. They are used as a filler in ceramics to improve the firing attributes and durability of the finished product.

Talc used in paints- Paints are basically suspensions of mineral particles in the liquid form. It is easier to apply the liquid form of the paint on the walls, as the liquid evaporates, the mineral particles provide coloration. Talc is utilized as filler and extender in paints and aids the liquid paint adhere to a wall without sagging.

Paper manufacturing- Papers are composed of pulp of organic fibers and the pulp are derived from natural elements like wood, rags, and other organic materials. The finely ground talc added to the pulp acts as a filler and results in a paper to be a smoother writing surface. It further improves the brightness, whiteness and opacity of the paper.

Personal care products- Due to the softness of talc it is widely used in cosmetic products like blushes, powder compacts and eye shadows. As the mineral as moisture absorbing feature, it also serves as a lubricant and forms a key ingredient in many antiperspirants.

Roofing material- The mineral talc added into the roofing materials enhances their weather resistance capability.

Umang Jain

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