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Industrial and Dried Minerals Information – Production

Silica sand

High grade silica sand is usually found as unconsolidated deposits below thin layers of soil and overburden. After quarrying, the sand often undergoes considerable processing before sale. The processing may include washing and cleaning of the grains, sizing to remove coarse and very fine fractions, and physical and chemical processes to remove iron, chromium and other deleterious minerals. After processing, the sand may be dried and some applications require it to be ground in ball mills to produce very fine material.

Glass

Silica is the major ingredient in virtually all types of glass. The principal glass products include containers (bottles and jars), flat glass (windows, mirrors, vehicle glazing etc.), lighting glass (light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, etc.), tableware (lead crystal, drinking glasses etc.), TV tubes and screens, decorative glass, fibreglass, optical glass and vacuum flasks.

Foundry casting

Silica has a high melting point, 1610 degrees C. This enables castings to be produced by pouring molten metal into moulds made out of silica sand.

Ceramics

Silica that has been ground to fine size is an ingredient of most clay bodies and is a major constituent of ceramic glazes. Typical everyday products include tableware, sanitaryware, ornaments and wall and floor tiles.

Filtration

Closely sized grades of silica sand is the principal filtration medium used by the water industry to extract solids from wastewater.

Specialist building applications

The construction industry is founded on silica and there are a host of specialist applications including silica and aerated concrete blocks, floor and roof tiles, flooring and rendering compounds, white line markings, roofing felt and cement and resin injection systems.

 

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