Mineral Materials are minerals of natural output that have one or more of the physical and chemical properties that may be used or reach the above conditions after production. The generalized mineral material also includes a portion of the raw material that is made up of the rock. Mineral materials are not to be used as the useful elements in the extraction of minerals, and the purpose of their utilization is different from that of the utilization of mineral materials in metallurgical and chemical industries. For example, rutile is used as a raw material for the extraction of titanium. As mineral material, it can make use of its high dielectric constant and low dielectric loss.
Mineral materials can be divided into structural materials and functional materials.
1) Structural materials
Structural material in the narrow sense refers to the materials used in manufacturing and construction. Structural material in the general sense refers to all non functional materials. Mineral structural materials are used in many sectors.
In the construction industry, the gypsum products can be in lower strength requirements instead of cement products, used as a partition plate and decorative plate; with vermiculite, pumice, scoria, perlite and expansion shale processing can be made to contain a large number of pores, with heat preservation and insulation performance of lightweight building materials.
In the chemical industry, the manufacture of plastic, rubber and adhesives needs to add a large number of minerals to make composite materials. The addition of asbestos or kaolinite, talc and other minerals, can increase the strength, vibration, noise, sound insulation, flame retardant and anti aging. In the metallurgical industry, the bond of bentonite is used to process the iron concentrate pellets. In refractory material in addition to the traditional clay, silica, bauxite and magnesite, but also the development of Kyanite group minerals, graphite and zircon mainly new refractory materials.
In the machinery industry, minerals are used as grinding materials, protective coatings, solid lubricant, friction agents, sealants, welding material etc. Used as an abrasive, from soft silica, calcite to the hard diamond, there are more than 30 kinds of minerals. The most widely used natural and synthetic mineral grinding material of diamond, pomegranate son stone, emery (synthetic Moissanite), synthetic corundum, corundum sand.
The ceramic industry uses energy saving raw material like wollastonite, diopside and tremolite to reduce the sintering temperature and shorten the time of firing. In the paper making, flake kaolinite, talc and light calcium carbonate with high brightness and strong ability to cover, used as paper coating, filler and whitening. The minerals are used as pulp and weighting agent in oil drilling. Bentonite, sepiolite and palygorskite are used as water-based mud, and organic bentonite can produce oil base mud. A large proportion of barite and hematite as mud weighting agent, can prevent blowout. In food processing, diatomite and activated bentonite are used for the filtration and decolorization of beverages and foods. This type of mineral is also commonly used in the treatment of water and radioactive waste. Agriculture in the zeolite, bentonite, sepiolite and diatomite are used as soil amendments, to improve the soil structure, regulating water for adsorption of toxic substances and improve fertilizer. Bentonite, zeolite and smectite are used as feed additives for livestock and poultry to reduce disease, increase weight.
2). Functional materials
Functional materials are mainly used in electronics, laser and instrument industry. Functional material is light, magnetic, electrical, thermal, sound and other external energy or information, with feelings, conversion, transmission, display and storage of materials. The single crystal with high purity and few defects is obtained by means of artificial cultivation of crystals. A lot of functional materials used in the electronics industry. For example, quartz is used as a resonator, as a frequency standard and a. Fluorescent powder for color picture tube, the blue and yellow light is silicon wurtzite and zinc blende crystal fluorescent powder, and the red can use scandium yttrium ore type of crystal. Daylight lamp with fluorescent powder is apatite crystal. Pyrostibite can put the visible light energy convert to electrical energy, used as a satellite camera tube target. In the laser industry, mineral functional materials are used for the emission, transmission, modulation, deflection and storage of laser.
The mineral material is characterized by its low price and uses. The complex structure, composition, impurities and defects of minerals are the source of new material. The mineral research has solved the satellite thermal control coatings and reentry of space shuttle and a series of laser materials. The price of mineral materials is lower than that of metals and organic materials. In addition, the same mineral has a variety of uses, with different levels of development.
The objective of the development of mineral materials is to obtain new materials with economic benefit and its production process. Therefore, the following work must be carried out.
1) Market demand research and forecast.
2) Determine the technical and economic indicators of the ore, the feasibility study of the development of the mining area. The degree of feasibility study should be adapted to the degree of exploration.
3) Strengthen the research of process flow. Process flow includes mineral processing, processing or artificial synthesis, or part of the link. Ore dressing by magnetic separation, gravity separation and flotation are according to the ore characteristics and product goals. Processing mainly involves grinding, particle size classification, heat treatment, surface treatment, organic complexation, directional polishing, coating, etc.. Artificial synthesis includes decomposition and purification, phase transformation, sintering and crystal culture. The methods of crystal culture mainly include hydrothermal method, water solution method, salt method, flame fusion method, gas phase deposition method and high pressure method, etc.
5. Development Trends
General mineral materials develop towards the energy saving, material saving, high performance. It is worth noting the application of structural ceramics and ultrafine particles. Mineral functional materials will occupy a more important position, especially sensors and information recording materials. Through the research of mineral physics, the orientation design of mineral materials is an important part of the study of mineral materials in the future.