Feldspars (KAlSi3O8 C NaAlSi3O8 C CaAl2Si2O8) are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals that make up as much as 60% of the Earth’s crust.
Feldspars crystallize from magma as veins in both intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks and are also present in many types of metamorphic rock.Rock formed almost entirely of calcic plagioclase feldspar (see below) is known as anorthosite.Feldspars are also found in many types of sedimentary rocks.
Uses of Feldspars
Feldspar is a common raw material used in glassmaking, ceramics, and to some extent as a filler and extender in paint, plastics, and rubber. In glassmaking, alumina from feldspar improves product hardness, durability, and resistance to chemical corrosion. In ceramics, the alkalis in feldspar (calcium oxide, potassium oxide, and sodium oxide) act as a flux, lowering the melting temperature of a mixture. Fluxes melt at an early stage in the firing process, forming a glassy matrix that bonds the other components of the system together. In the US, about 66% of feldspar is consumed in glassmaking, including glass containers and glass fiber. Ceramics (including electrical insulators, sanitaryware, pottery, tableware, and tile) and other uses, such as fillers, accounted for the remainder.
Feldspar applications include:
Paints and Coatings
Plastics and Elastomers
Abrasives and Polishes
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