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Use Of Quartz

Glass Making

Geological processes have occasionally deposited sands that are composed of almost 100% quartz grains. These deposits have been identified and produced as sources of high purity silica sand. These sands are used in the glass making industry. Quartz sand is used in the production of container glass, flat plate glass, specialty glass and fiber glass.

Abrasive

The high hardness of quartz, seven on the Mohs Scale, makes it harder than most other natural substances. As such it is an excellent abrasive material. Quartz sands and finely ground silica sand are used for sand blasting, scouring cleansers, grinding media, and grit for sanding and sawing.

Foundry Sand

Quartz is very resistant to both chemicals and heat. It is therefore often used as a foundry sand. With a melting temperature higher than most metals it can be used for the molds and cores of common foundry work. Refractory brick are often made of quartz sand because of its high heat resistance. Quartz sand is also used as a flux in the smelting of metals.

Petroleum Industry

Quartz sand has a high resistance to being crushed. In the petroleum industry sand slurries are forced down oil and gas wells under very high pressures in a process known as hydraulic fracturing. This high pressure fractures the reservoir rocks and the sandy slurry injects into the fractures. The durable sand grains hold the fractures open after the pressure is released. These open fractures facilitate the flow of natural gas into the well bore.

Many Other Quartz Sand Uses

Quartz sand is used as a filler in the manufacture of rubber, paint and putty. Screened and washed, carefully sized quartz grains are used as filter media and roofing granules. Quartz sands are used for traction in the railroad and mining industries. These sands are also used in recreation on golf courses, volleyball courts, baseball fields, children's sand boxes and beaches

Uses of Quartz Crystals

High quality quartz crystals are single-crystal silica with optical or electronic properties that make them useful for specialty purposes. USGS estimates that about ten billion quartz crystals are used every year. Electronics grade crystals can be used in filters, frequency controls, timers, electronic circuits that become important components in cell phones, watches, clocks, games, television receivers, computers, navigational instruments and other products. Optical-grade crystals can be used as lenses and windows in lasers and other specialized devices. Although some natural quartz crystals are used in these applications, most of these special crystals are now manufactured.

Quartz as a Gemstone

Quartz makes an excellent gemstone. It is hard, durable and usually accepts a brilliant polish. Popular varieties of quartz that are widely used as gems include: amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, and aventurine. Agate and jasper are also varieties of quartz with a microcrystalline structure

Special Silica Stone Uses

"Silica stone" is an industrial term for materials such as quartzite,novaculite and other microcrystalline quartz rocks. These are used to produce abrasive tools, deburring media, grinding stones, hones, oilstones, stone files, tube-mill liners and whetstones.

Tripoli

Tripoli is crystalline silica of an extremely fine grain size (less than ten micrometers). Commercial tripoli is a nearly pure silica material that is used for a variety of mild abrasive purposes which include: soaps, toothpastes, metal polishing compounds, jewelry polishing compounds and buffing compounds. Tripoli is also used in brake friction products, fillers in enamel, caulking compounds, plastic, paint, rubber and refractories.

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