Quartz is a crystalline silica mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. It is one of the most common and abundant minerals found on Earth’s surface, and it can be found in a wide range of shapes and colors.
In the industrial sector, quartz is used in a wide variety of applications. Its high hardness, seven on the Mohs scale, makes it an excellent abrasive material. It also has a piezoelectric property, causing it to generate an electric potential when subjected to mechanical stress.
The properties of quartz make it one of the most valuable and versatile natural minerals available on Earth. It has many uses in various industries, such as glass making, paints, water treatment, and more.
It is a key component of igneous and metamorphic rocks, primarily sandstone and quartzite. It is also an essential ingredient of the manufacturing of glass and ceramics.
As an abrasive, quartz powder has been used to sandstone, ceramic glazes, and bodies for thousands of years. Finely ground oxides are also used for sandblasting, scouring cleansers, and grinding media.
Quartz is also used to manufacture a variety of compounds such as sodium silicate, phosphoric acid, and ferrosilicon. The powder is often used to line refractories in induction furnaces and as a flux in smelting operations.
Besides being a key ingredient in refractory and ceramic applications, quartz also has a pozzolanic activity that stimulates hydration of cement in the first hours after blending. However, its pozzolanic activity is not as strong as that of gypsum and is not sufficient to replace the majority of the cement in the composite.