Saturday, January 16, 2010

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Feldspar, but Didn't Know Where to Look

"FELDSPAR"
Mineral Information Institute

"Feldspar: A rock-forming mineral, industrially important in glass and ceramic industries, pottery and enamelware, soaps, abrasives, bond for abrasive wheels, cements and concretes, insulating compositions, fertilizer, poultry grit, tarred roofing materials, and as a sizing (or filler) in textiles and paper. Albite is a feldspar mineral and is a sodium aluminum silicate. This form of feldspar is used as a glaze in ceramics...."

This page is awash with information about feldspar. Like:

"...Feldspars are relatively hard at 6 on Mohs' hardness scale. Feldspars are generally light-colored, including white, pink, tan, green, or gray. The color varies due to impurities within the crystal structure. Feldspar is the mineral that gives granite its pink, green or gray color...."

And:

"...The name feldspar is a contraction of the longer name fieldspar...."

There's more, like how feldspar is used in making glass.

By the way, the reason that you haven't heard of the feldspar supply crisis is that there isn't one. Feldspar is a major component in this planet's crust.

It's not too hard to find, apparently:

"...Feldspar is mined from large granite bodies (called plutons by geologists), from pegmatites (formed when the last fluid stages of a crystallizing granite becomes concentrated in small liquid and vapor-rich pockets that allow the growth of extremely large crystals), and from sands composed mostly of feldspar...."

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