Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock that was originally quart sandstone. Sandstone is converted to quartzite by heating and pressure, which generally corresponds to tectonic compression within the orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is predominantly white to gray, although quartzites often appear in different shades of pink and red because of different amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Other colors such as yellow, green, blue and orange are the result of other minerals
The interlocking crystal structure of quartzite makes it a hard rock, solid and durable. It is so resistant to breaking quartz grains instead of breaking the boundaries between them. This is a characteristic that separates real quartzite from sandstone.
Because of its hardness and angular shape, crushed quartzite is often used as railway ballast. Quartzite is a decorative stone and can be used for architectural purposes, to cover walls, such as tiles, such as floors and stairs. Its use for kitchen desks is spreading rapidly. It is harder and more resistant to stains than granite.
In architecture, marble and granite have been the preferred materials for thousands of years. It is best to resist abrasion on stairs, tiles and countertops. It is more resistant to most chemicals and environmental conditions. It is available in a range of neutral colors that many people prefer. The use of quartzite in these uses is growing slowly as more and more people are learning it.
Quartzite is an extremely durable broken stone that is suitable for the most demanding applications. Its resistance to abrasion are superior to most other materials.
Unfortunately, the same durability that makes quartzite the ultimate building material also limits its use. Its hardness and toughness can cause heavy wear on crushers, sieves, truck bearings, cutting tools, loaders, tires, trays, bits and other equipment. As a result, the use of quartzite is mainly limited to geographical areas where other aggregates are not available.
Quartzite is valued as a raw material because of its high silicon content. Several unusual deposits have silicon content greater than 98%. They are extracted and used for the manufacture of glass, ferrosilicon, manganese, silicon-metal, silicon carbide and other materials.
Quartzite can be a very attractive stone when it is colored by inclusions. Fuchsite inclusions (a green variety rich in chromium from musk froth) can give quartzite a nice green color. If quartzite is semi-transparent, flat mica shells can reflect light and produce a brilliant shine called aventurine.
The material with this property is called "aventurine", a material widely used for the manufacture of beads, cabochons, stumbled stones and small decorations. Adventurine can be pink or red when stained with iron. The dumortierit included produces blue. Other inclusions produce white, gray, orange or yellow aventurine.
Quartzite men have been making stone tools for over a million years. It was mainly used for percussion tools, but the fracture of the conhoid could break and shape sharp edges. Broken quartzite pieces were used to cut and grind crushing tools.
Quartzite was not the preferred material for the production of cutting tools. Quartz, cornea, jasper, agate and opsidian can be mixed to obtain thin cutting edges, which are difficult to produce when working quartzite. Quartzite served as a lower substitute for these preferred materials.
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