What is Quartz?
A widely distributed mineral on the Earth’s surface, quartz is a crucial constituent of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. It is formed in igneous rocks as magma cools and silicon dioxide crystallises.
Quartz is highly resistant to chemical and mechanical weathering and can form at all temperatures. This is why mountaintops and beaches, sea, and desert sand are abundant with quartz.
Importance and Uses of Quartz
The demand for quartz is quite high due to its economic importance and quartz use in a huge variety of sectors. Here are some of them.
- Quartz is highly durable and chemically inert with most substances, in addition to its heat resistance and other electrical properties, which makes it a valuable mineral in electronic products.
- Its lustre, colour, and diaphaneity make it useful as a gemstone and in making glass.
- Different types of quartz are used in different industries, including as gemstones, like rose quartz, smoky quartz, amethyst, and citrine.
- Quartz is a major component of Sandstone, essentially used as a building stone.
- Silica sand or Quartz sand is used in the glassmaking industry to manufacture ceramics, glass and moulds for metal casting. It is used to make container glass, flat plate glass, speciality glass, and fibreglass.
- Crushed quartz is an excellent abrasive used in sandpaper, sandblasting, and grit for sanding and sawing.
- Silica glass (also known as fused quartz) is employed in optics to transmit ultraviolet light.
- The ability of quartz crystals to vibrate at precise frequencies makes the mineral useful in extremely accurate time-keeping instruments where radio and television signals are required to be transmitted at specific and stable frequencies.
- Quartz fibres also find their use in extremely sensitive weighing devices.
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