Every day, thousands upon thousands of pounds of various minerals make their way across the country. Their destinations are varied, but each play an important role in some form of industry.
Ever since the earliest civilizations, mankind has made use of the materials around him. Today, this practice is still very much alive and well. In fact, a huge amount of your modern day-to-day activities would not be possible if it wasn’t for these minerals.
So, what are industrial minerals? By definition, they are non-metallic materials mined for their commercial value, and not as fuel. The list of industrial minerals is pretty lengthy, but we will outline some of the more common here. They include:
All of these materials have a wide range of uses across many areas of industry. To give you an idea of how large a part these materials play in industrial areas, we will outline some of the most common uses.
Clay, sand, gypsum, talk, slag, and more find their homes in the field of construction. Most of these go into the creation of concrete and asphalt, but have many other uses as well. For instance, clay is used as a natural sealant to prevent the contamination of nearby waterways and other areas from landfill runoff. Additionally, very fine clay mixed with water makes an excellent environmentally friendly lubricant for cutting bits during oil drilling.
Both lime and silica go into the manufacturing of glass and glass products. Glass is, of course, used for windows, mirrors, drink and cookware, paneling, fiberglass, vehicle windshields, and much more.
Lime and silica are also used when smelting and refining metal from ore. They are used as a flux, which helps to remove impurities and other contaminants (known as slag.) This slag is cooled and then processed for a variety of other uses. Nothing goes to waste here.
Talc, lime, clay, and silica all find their ways into paints. They are either incorporated as pigments, or as a filler and thickener depending on what the final product should be.
Today, nearly everything has some form of plastic component. Plastics are versatile and easily created, making them an ideal compound with many uses. Inert minerals, such as chalk, are mixed into the plastic during manufacturing to act as a stabilizer, fire retardant, or filler.
Silica and clay play an important role in the manufacture of electronic components such as circuit boards, touch screens and more. Additionally, graphite also makes induction styluses on touch-screen electronics possible by conducting the electric signal from your hand.
As you can see, minerals still have a big part to play in our modern society. It’s no wonder so many pounds of industrial minerals make their way around the country daily. At CCC Transportation, we specialize in the transportation of dry bulk industrial minerals. If you would like to know more about our services, we welcome you to contact us.