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What are the industrial uses of talc?

The industrial uses of Talc are versatile. While the mineral is famous for its industrial uses of talc in cosmetics exclusively,  Talc is one of the most common and versatile minerals found abundantly on Earth. The soft mineral is being used by various industries for its greasy texture and oil-absorbing properties.

What is Talc?

Talc is one of the softest industrial minerals found on Earth. Talc is a term that is used for pure and a wide variety of soft rocks that are mined and used for various purposes. It is so soft that it can be scratched by fingers. On the Mohs hardness scale, Talc attains the first position. Thus making its crushing and cutting process very easy.

Talc is soft and greasy in nature. It is thereby widely used as a lubricant. Talc is usually colorless or has a translucent appearance. In different parts of the world, it has a green, white, or gray color.

Talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate mineral. Its chemical composition is Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. Being a monoclinic mineral, it exhibits a sheet structure that is somewhat similar to the micas. Having a perfect cleavage, it is structured as weakly bounded sheets. These sheets often slip past one another, giving them a soft, soapy, greasy texture and making them a high-temperature lubricant.

What are the forms of Talc?

The two most common forms of talc are soapstone and talcum powder. When Talc is crushed into powder, it is known as talcum powder. Most people are familiar with Talcum powder as it is used in baby powder, foot powders, cosmetic powders, and first aid powders. It has the property of absorbing oil, odor, and moisture. However, its lubricating properties give skin an astringent feel.

The other form of talc, soapstone is used widely in making ornaments and other objects. The use of soapstone in sculptures, bowls, sinks, and hearths dates back hundreds of years.

How is Talc formed?

This versatile mineral is mostly found in metamorphic rocks. It is formed by two processes. One, when warm water carries dissolved magnesium and silica reacts with dolomitic marbles. Second, when chemically active fluids interact with dunite and serpentine in a warm environment forming talc. 

Talc is formed in most parts of the world. Mostly in China, India, Pakistan, France, Brazil, the US, and Finland. 

How is Talc mined and processed?

Mostly, talc is mined in open pits. The rock is drilled and blasted. The process results in partially crushed minerals. However, it is not easy to mine the mineral as great care has to be taken to assure that Talc does not get contaminated with other minerals. 

The next step is the processing step. Talc is then taken to mills where it is crushed and impurities are removed by a process known as froth flotation or mechanical processing. The size, brightness, and other properties of talc are taken care of according to the requirements of the clients. 

What are the industrial uses of Talc?

Talc is one of the multifaceted minerals. There are various industrial uses of talc.  Here are some of the vital industrial uses of talc.

  • Use of Talc in the Plastic Industry 

One of the most common uses of talc is in the plastic industry. Talc makes a great filler in the plastic industry. Plastic products such as polypropylene, vinyl, polyethylene, nylon, and polyester get their due stiffness due to talc. Adding it in plastic as a filler allows it to make it heat resistant, thus keeping it in shape for a long time. 

  • Use of Talc in the Ceramics Industry 

Talc is widely used in the manufacturing of ceramic products. Ceramic products such as bathroom fixtures, tiles, pottery, and dinnerware use talc as a filler which enhances the strength of the product and gives it a finished look. 

  • Use of Talc in the Paint Industry 

The paint industry is benefitting from talc as it is used as a filler and as an extender. The bright white mineral is used to give a gloss and brightened finish to the paints. Paints need to have a low hardness value so that the paint applicators can have a better life and retain less damage. 

  • Use of Talc in the Paper Industry 

Paper is made from organic fiber pulp. This pulp comes from wood, rags, and other organic sources. Talc is among the filler that is used in the pulp to fill the space, brighten the color, and improve the texture and strength of the paper. High-quality paper that has high ink absorption is made by using fine-quality paper. 

  • Use of Talc in the Cosmetics Industry 

High-quality, finely ground talc is used in the cosmetic industry due to its suitable properties. The mineral does not cause skin abrasion. It absorbs the oils produced by the skin, yet gives a moisturizing effect. Owing to its properties of oil absorption and odor absorption, Talc is used by the antiperspirant industry.

In the early 1990s, health concerns were identified by the use of talc. However, it has been seen that talc which is mined in the presence of asbestos is harmful to the skin. Thus, the talc which is to be used by the cosmetic industry is mined carefully to avoid the presence of asbestos. 

  • Use of Talc in Roofing Materials

Roofing materials have to exhibit weather-resistant properties so that they can have a longer lifespan. Similarly, it is used on roll roofing to prevent stickiness. 

  • Some Other Industrial Uses of Talc

Talc has various uses. It is used as a lubricant for high-temperature surfaces. Oil-based lubricants are not able to survive in high-temperature areas. Another great use of this mineral is that it is used in insecticides and fungicides. Talc allows these insecticides to settle on the leaves. The rubber industry uses talc as an extender while other industries benefit from it as it is used as a filler, oil absorption, lubricant, and carrier. 

Which are the best Talc Companies?

While the industrial uses of talc are significant, it is equally important to get high-quality talc. Especially the talc that is used in the cosmetics industry has to be carefully mined. Similarly to attain optimal industrial uses of talc, it is important to access the best quality talc. At Total System Solution, talc is carefully mined and processed to deliver high-quality and reliable talc. 

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