Quartz is one of the most common minerals in the Earths crust. As a mineral name, quartz refers to a specific chemical compound (silicon dioxide, or silica, SiO2), having a specific crystalline form (hexagonal). It is found is all forms of rock: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. Quartz is physically and chemically resistant to weathering. When quartz-bearing rocks become weathered and eroded, the grains of resistant quartz are concentrated in the soil, in rivers, and on beaches. The white sands typically found in river beds and on beaches are usually composed mainly of quartz, with some white or pink feldspar as well.
Quartz crystal is found in many countries and many geologic environments. Major producers of natural quartz crystals are the United States (particularly Arkansas) and Brazil. Natural quartz is rarely used as found in nature (especially in electrical applications), except as a gemstone. Natural quartz crystals have too many chemical impurities and physical flaws. As a result, a commercial process of manufacturing pure, flawless, electronics-grade quartz was developed. Cultured quartz, that is, quartz crystals grown very carefully in highly controlled laboratory conditions, is the quartz that is used in industry. About 200 metric tons of cultured quartz is produced each year. In the production of cultured quartz crystals, a seed crystal is needed. A seed crystal is a small piece of carefully selected, non-electronics-grade quartz. The manufactured crystal grows on this seed crystal.
Quartz crystal is one of several minerals which are piezoelectric, meaning that when pressure is applied to quartz, a positive electrical charge is created at one end of the crystal and a negative electrical charge is created at the other. These properties make quartz valuable in electronics applications. Electronics-grade manufactured quartz is used in a large number of circuits for consumer electronics products such as computers, cell phones, televisions, radios, electronic games, etc. It is also used to make frequency control devices and electronic filters that remove defined electromagnetic frequencies.
Washing and classifying desliming The SiO2 grade in Quartz SandSilica Sand decreases by Quartz SandSilica Sand size becoming finer, so washing and desliming of crude Quartz SandSilica Sand is necessary before next step.
Scrubbing Scrubbing is the way to remove film iron and impurity minerals on the surface of quartz by mechanical force and crush these mineral aggregate. The Quartz SandSilica Sand gets further purification by classification. There are two kinds of methods rob scrubbing and mechanical scrubbing.
Flotation The separation of mica and quartz is difficult, the effective methods: anionic collector in acid condition and anionic - cationic collector in alkaline condition. The purification of Quartz SandSilica Sand can reach 99% after scrubbing, desliming, magnetic separation and flotation.
Acid Leaching Dilute acid had a significant effect on removing iron and aluminum, and concentrated acid for the removal of titanium and chromium, and mixed acid for mineral impurity. Control various factors of acid leaching should be based on quartz final grade requirements, and as far as possible reduce the acid concentration, temperature and dosage to achieve quartz purification.
Material: Hard rock gold deposit Capacity: 5TPH Country: Nigeria Feeding size: 0.6-1.3mm Raw mineral description: 1. Mineral type: rock gold deposit, gold in quartz rock 2. Mineral composition: Au. 43%; Ag. 19%; Fe. 3%; Zn. 5.6%.
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High-purity quartz is the raw material of high-end quartz products and the material basis of high-end products in the silicon industry. It is widely used in photovoltaics, electronic information, optical communications and electric light sources. It has an important position and role in strategic emerging industries of new materials and new energy.
There are only a few raw ores in the world that can produce high-purity quartz sand for high-tech industries. There are many types of silica resources and large storage capacity. Quartzite, quartz sandstone and vein quartz are the main raw materials for producing high-purity quartz sand.(1) QuartziteQuartzite is a metamorphic rock dominated by quartz. It is formed by the metamorphism of quartz sandstone and siliceous rock, where the silica content is above 85%.(2) Quartz sandstoneQuartz sandstone is a sedimentary rock formed by cementing quartz particles, and its silica content is as high as 95%.(3) Vein quartzVein quartz is formed by filling silicon thermal fluid secreted by underground magma into rock fissures, and its silica content is as high as 99%.
1. Washing-classifying-desiltingIn the quartz sand beneficiation process, the fine-grained grade with a particle size of less than 0.1 mm is usually called slime. For quartz sand with a large amount of clay and ore mud, as the particle size becomes finer, the grade of silica gradually decreases, while impurities such as iron and aluminum rise instead. Using water washing-classifying-desilting method can effectively improve quartz grade.2. ScrubFor the thin film iron and adhesion impurities on the surface of quartz sand, the effect of water washing-grading desilting is poor. This requires the removal of the thin film iron and adhesion impurities suitable for the sand surface by means of mechanical force and the abrasive force between the sand particles. After the grading desilting, a better impurity removal effect can be achieved.3. Gravity separationgravity separation is to screen minerals according to their different gravity. Due to the difference in density, the mineral particles are affected by the fluid force and mechanical force in the medium, resulting in loose stratification, so that the ore particles are separated.4. Magnetic separationMagnetic separation is to separate the magnetic impurity minerals and particles in the quartz sand. The quartz in the quartz sand is a diamagnetic substance, which cannot be magnetized in the magnetic field, and most of the impurities containing Fe and Ti are paramagnetic substances, which can be magnetized, so that the impurities containing Fe and Ti can be removed by magnetic separation High quartz sand content.5. FlotationFlotation is the process of separating mineral particles by different physical and chemical properties on the surface of the mineral particles. The main function is to remove the related mineral mica and feldspar from the quartz sand.The physical beneficiation method can only remove the impurities of mineral structure, and rarely remove the impurities on the surface of quartz sand. The purer the quartz sand, the higher the use value, so it is necessary to further purify the quartz sand after flotation.
The chemical methods for purifying quartz sand are mainly acid leaching or alkali leaching. Compared with physical methods, the cost of chemical methods is higher, but the purification effect is better, especially when the purity of quartz sand is high, chemical purification is more effective.The acids commonly used in acid leaching are sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid, etc. Dilute acid has a good effect of removing impurities such as iron, aluminum, and magnesium, while concentrated sulfuric acid and hydrofluoric acid have a good effect of removing impurities of titanium and chromium. Therefore, in the actual beneficiation, mixing acid to purify quartz sand is the best.Compared with general mineral processing engineering, high-purity quartz sand processing technology has the following characteristics:(1) The reagent purity is high. Acid leaching and water washing are important steps in the processing of high-purity quartz sand. Due to the high purity requirements of high-purity quartz and the low content of impurity elements, the purity of the reagents such as acid and water must meet the corresponding requirements, otherwise it is difficult to produce qualified products.(2) The reagent has strong corrosion. Hot acid leaching plays a key role in the purification of high-purity quartz. An important chemical property of quartz is excellent acid corrosion resistance, while other metal impurity components in the ore are generally poor in acid corrosion resistance. Under certain temperature conditions, this effect is more obvious. The acid leaching process used in high-purity quartz processing uses this principle to achieve chemical purification.(3) The material standards are strict. Practice has proved that in the purification of high-purity quartz, materials such as containers that come into contact with the raw materials have a significant impact on the quality of the sample. Strictly controlling the material standards of each processing link of high-purity quartz sand is the key to ensuring quality.
The quartz are used in a wide range of applications from jewellery making, industrial applications and many electronic appliances. Each crystal has a unique property and is extracted through unique methods. However the common method to extract the ore is open pit mining. As the demand of the quartz increased, modern technologies were involved to produce the quartz.The quartz with specialized property allows it to grow in laboratory conditions called cultured quartz.
Quartz is a crystalline of silica that is found on the average amount of 58% to 63% on the earth surface and occurs in all types of rocks including igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. They are widely distributed in the following countries: Brazil, USA, Canada, Norway, Russia, India, China and Australia which produce high purity quartz.
The largest producer of natural quartz in Brazil.The Telequartz Group of Mining Companies in Brazil is the largest and well established exporter of Quartz in the world. The natural crystals that are generally available contain high physical and chemical impurities. So high physical and chemical treatments are required to remove the impurities. Another largest producer of Quartz is the United States of America. The most purest quartz deposit is found in the Spruce pine, North Caroline, USA. It is present 780m above the sea level, where geology offers the highest purity quartz deposits.
Quartz is generally extracted from the open pit mines. There are different types of crystal in this family, but almost all the crystals are extracted from this method. In this method, the top soil or overburden material covering the crystal is removed and kept for refill purposes. This method is followed when the mineral deposits are present in the lower depths. The crystals are extracted by hand tools or with the help of the heavy load machineries like bulldozers and backhoes. In case if the overburden is hard and cannot be removed manually, the explosives are employed. The blast method is only used to remove the overlying material. In case of the extraction of the quartz, the explosives are not employed as it may cause damage in the crystal due to change in temperature. Even though it is recognised for its hardness, the brittle structure of the quartz gets damaged easily when it is prone to high pressure and temperature.The open pit mine is dug until the quartz crystals in the veins of the rock are exposed. The quartz crystal is then removed manually with hand tools.
For the rising industrial needs of the quartz, they are grown carefully in highly controlled and specialised laboratory conditions. The seed crystal is the small piece of the non electronic grade quartz that has been carefully selected for the growth of the cultured quartz.It produces about 200 metric tons of quartz each year for industrial purposes. This quartz is used in electrical and electronic appliances such as computers, cellphones, television, radios and electronic games.
In underground mining,the quartz crystals are identified by the different mining methods like shaft and tunnel mining, roof and pillar mining and through the slope mining. For the extraction of the crystal, the rock which comprises the quartz crystal is allowed to decompose in the process of weathering. As quartz is the most resistant component, the other least resistant component tends to dissolve first and destabilizes the entire structure.Therefore the brittle components which go through chemical weathering shatter it until it is sand and it forms the hard rock. To dissolve the quartz component separately the thermal groundwater with certain ph value water is allowed to pass over it. Then the quartz will deposit on the subterranean space, which are then collected and sent for further processing.
The processing of the quartz crystal depends on the amount, origin and the type of impurities present in the ore. After the quartz is successfully mined, it must go through a series of steps to remove its flaws.The process includes crushing, screening, floating and other chemical techniques.
Crushing: this is the first stage after mining, in which the quartz chunks are sent to the jaw crusher for breaking up the large lumps. It is also done by forklift or manpower. These crushed pieces are then washed and scrubbed.
Physical processing: the physical process involves cleaning the surface of the quartz. In magnetic separation and high tension separation the minerals and quartz are separated depending on the surface charge.
Chemical processing: floatation and acid leaching are the two primary processes in which the trace minerals from the quartz are removed. Acid leaching helps to decrease the impurities. The combination of chemical substances like HF, HCL, HNO3 to improve the results.
Thermal processing In thermal or hot chlorination processes, the quartz is heated upto temperature of 1200 degree celcius in a chlorine or hydrogen gas atmosphere. This method is essential to remove the alkali, alkali earth and transition metals. Calcination: It improves the melting properties of the high purity quartz and reduces the fluid inclusions.
In thermal or hot chlorination processes, the quartz is heated upto temperature of 1200 degree celcius in a chlorine or hydrogen gas atmosphere. This method is essential to remove the alkali, alkali earth and transition metals.
Looking at what the nature has to offer, it conveys a lot of information when it comes to things that it holds in it, within it and on it. With need for minerals and its wide spread application getting widened each day, the stint of its very existence is getting blink and its depreciation in its source which is its over usage is on the high.
literally means extraction .Our Mother Earth has lots of resources deep within her and mining is the method of extracting all these valuable resources from the earth through different means.There are different methods to extract these resources which are found in different forms beneath the earth's surface.
The metal mining was one of the traditions that have been passed on meritoriously over the past years so that we meet our day-to-day needs of the desired material usage starting from the equipments that are ornamental as well as purposeful coordination of information's.
Jadeite is a pyroxene mineral and is one of the two types of pure jade. The other is known as nephrite jade. Jadeite is the rarer of the two jades, and as a result, it is considered to be more precious and valuable. Due to its striking and emerald green color it is also known as "imperial jadeite".
Surface mining is basically employed when deposits of commercially viable minerals or rock are found closer to the surface; that is, where overstrain (surface material covering the valuable deposit) is relatively very less or the material of interest is structurally unsuitable for heavy handling or tunneling.
Underground mining is carried out when the rocks, minerals, or precious stones are located at a distance far beneath the ground to be extracted with surface mining. To facilitate the minerals to be taken out of the mine, the miners construct underground rooms to work in.
Gold is a chemical component with the symbol Au that springs up from the Latin derivative aurum that means shining dawn and with the atomic number 79. It is a very sought-after valuable metal which, for many centuries, has been utilized as wealth. The metal resembles as nuggets or grain like structures in rocks, subversive "veins" and in alluvial deposits. It is one of the currency metals.
Platinum, is a heavy, malleable,ductile, highly inactive, silverish-white transition metal. Platinum is a member of group 10 elements of the periodic table.It is one among the scarce elements found in Earth's crust and has six naturally occurring isotopes. It is also achemical element.
Diamonds and supplementary valuable and semi-precious gemstones are excavated from the earth level via 4 main types on mining. These diamond withdrawal methods vary depending on how the minerals are situated within the earth, the steadiness of the material neighboring the preferred mineral, and the nonessential damage done to the surrounding environment.
For a long time, natural stones such as marble and granite have been used in both residential and commercial buildings for enhancing their look. However, there are many disadvantages of using these stones which has made factory-made quartz stone a better replacement for these stones. Some of the major disadvantages include
Natural stones have been used for ages for their durability, strength and other strong characteristics but quartz stone provides a better alternative to these stones as it is stronger and does not possess unwanted qualities of the natural stones.
In the last decade, the sale and consumption of quartz countertops in India and the world have increased massively. This is because of the drop in the price of quartz stones because of the increased efficiency of the quartz stone manufacturing process.We will give you a brief introduction of quartz mineral and quartz stone before delving into the manufacturing process.
Quartz is a kind of mineral being formed into crystals due to extreme pressure. As a chemical compound, it consists of one-part silicon and then two parts oxygen. It is considered as the most abundant mineral that can be found at Earths surface. Through its unique properties, it became among the most useful minerals.
Meanwhile, this mineral comes in varying colors, transparencies, and varieties. Amethyst, rose quartz, onyx, and tigers eye are some of the popular varieties of quartz. It is very abundant in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. It is known to be highly resistant to chemical and mechanical weathering.
When it comes to uses, the quartzs color, diaphaneity, and luster make it ideal as a gemstone as well as for glass making. Since it has heat resistance and electrical properties, this mineral is useful in electronics products.
Unlike granite, quartz does not form any stone blocks, and it naturally exists in clusters. Although some people are interested in this mineral to be part of their kitchen design, the natural state of quartz is considered to be unsuitable for countertops and any other large slab applications.
However, to make quartz suitable for slab applications, it can be converted into other forms like an open-pit engineered stone. Engineered quartz is also popularly called re-composed or reconstituted stone. The manufacturing process involves a mixture of quartz aggregated chips pigments, additives, and resin binders.
Engineered quartz stone for slab and countertop applications come in a wide array of colors, textures, and patterns. Depending on the manufacturing process, the texture can be either coarse or fine. Then, it is possible to combine it with glass and any other reflective materials to achieve the sparkling finish. When quartzs non-porous nature is combined with granites durability, high-end and robust applications can be achieved.
While we take a look at the quartz stone manufacturing process, we will also go through raw quartz manufacturing process and understanding how raw quartz is manufactured before it is supplied to the quartz stone manufacturing industries.
Due to its usefulness and essential properties, quartz is among the top B2B products being extracted and processed to be supplied locally and exported. As part of the manufacturing process, this mineral will undergo the extraction process up to the actual manufacturing processing.
Quartz can be extracted through open-pit mining. There are some rare instances that miners have to use explosives when it is necessary for them to expose the deep seam of the mineral. But it is done rarely because regardless of its hardness, it can be easily damaged when exposed to a sudden change in temperatures.
Its common in mining operations to use of backhoes and bulldozers to effectively get rid of both the clay and soil surrounding the mineral. After that, the crystal veins of quartz will be exposed in the rock. Once exposed to the surface, a team will use picks and chisels and other small hand tools for extracting the quartz directly from the quarry.
After the extraction process through mining, it is necessary for quartz to undergo the careful, extensive cleaning process. That is to strip off all the chemical impurities and physical flaws. Once thoroughly cleaned, a particular team will be responsible for screening quartz. Then, it will be crushed into different sizes which will depend on its future use.
Using a crusher, quartz will undergo the crushing process, while a vibrating screen will be used to separate it. Next is to utilize a ball mill to ground the quartz. Lastly, the mineral will be classified into varying sized by the qualified classifier. As for the quartz powder, a grinder mill is used for crushing the pure, lumpy quartz to produce a fine powder.
After the quartz is being processed, it can be supplied using large shipping containers when transported on the sea. When transported on land, large trucks or trains via railroads are used. In case quartz types belong to the semi-precious gemstones, it is necessary to take extra precautions to ensure that they are free from damage.
At Unique Crystal Minerals, the best quality quartz manufacturer in India, we supply quartz sand, quartz granules and other B2B quartz products which are further manufactured into useful industrial and consumer products. We are also one of the largest quartz suppliers in India. We supply quartz products to different wholesale distributors and industries across India and export them throughout the globe.
When it comes to the manufacturing process of engineered quartz stone, the process starts with the manufactured quartz materials selection. It could be any quartz product such as quartz sand or quartz granules. As explained above, Raw quartz is selected after the manufacturing process is finished at a quartz manufacturing industry like Unique Crystal Minerals.
Furthermore, the mixture will be compacted to form the slabs using the vacuum and vibration method for about 100 seconds at 100 tons pressure. Using this kind of process, it can minimize porosity while decreasing water absorption.
After that, the slabs will undergo the curing process using a kiln at 85 degrees for about half an hour. That is to attain all the necessary properties for stain and impact resistance. To accelerate the curing process, steam or oven can be used. Once this process is completed, the produced slabs will undergo gauging, calibrating, polishing, and then prep up for the packing process.
With the help of the engineered quartz manufacturing process, there will be consistency and uniformity in the shade and dimension. As a result, it saves time during the construction process. Although the engineered version resembles the natural stones patterns, it offers a more consistent color, pattern, and texture, and uniform appearance. Besides, since they are man-made, they can be easily fabricated in large sizes, which can result in better aesthetics along with fewer joints.
The market for quartz mineral is getting wider, so it is not surprising why the mining and manufacturing process is also progressing. The beauty of quartz is that it is very flexible where it can be used in different applications, from interior design to pieces of jewelry to larger industry. Thus, everyone can expect for high-end use, and separate benefits since quartz undergo a thorough and careful manufacturing process.
Dinesh Agarwal is the founder chairman of Unique Crystal Minerals LLP. He is working in the minerals industry for more than a decade now and is widely known in the Inidan state of Rajasthan for his industrial expertise.
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Prominerhas the ability to supply the complete industrial deep processing solution to supply the quartz sand and high purity quartz (HPQ) sand. The quartz sand is widely used in glass, ceramic, casting, construction industry and filler for rubber, paper and paint industry. The HPQ sand is strategic mineral using for high-tech industry such as semi-conductor, optical, lighting, quartz glass, crucible and solar energy industry.
In recent years quartz slab industry develops very fast as it is used widely in room decoration especially in kitchen, thus a great demand of white & transparent quartz sand is open for the market. Due to the simple production process, just crushing, optical sorting and sieving, the investment return cycle is short and the benefit well. Prominer is familiar with the complete industrial chain of the quartz slab, from the material sand production technology till the final quartz slab manufacturing plant and thus can provide support on every stage.
To get qualified quartz sand/powder, the first aim is to remove the impurities inside the quartz. Specific expertise in geology, chemical analysis and high purity processing are required in order to convert raw mineral quartz into high purity & high-value final product. Based on the geological setting, lab test and pilot test, Prominer supplies tailor-made technology to remove the fluid and/or mineral inclusions. Depending on the final quality and value, processing into high purity or high value quartz involves advanced technology such as: I. Physical Quartz processing technology: Crushing & Grinding Optical Sorting HIMS Magnetic Separation Flotation. II. Chemical Quartz processing technology: Mixed acid treatment Hot Chlorination Calcination III. Thermal treatment: Free contamination sintering Quartz crushing & grinding system: Most of the quartz sand application field has strict requirements on its size range, so during the crushing and grinding process, suitable crushing & grinding solution is required to liberate quartz crystals from gangue sufficiently without contamination, meanwhile minimizing the under-size particle production. The purity of quartz sand determines its value and application fields, and most processing is for removing the mineral impurities. So, the way to prevent new contamination during crushing and grinding process is also very important. Ceramic grinding system, stainless steel connecting parts, clean working environment and dedusting system are very helpful to minimize the emergence of new impurities. Quartz Optical Sorting: Optical sorting is a new and advanced technology to separate the mineral ore based on the difference of the material optical properties. It uses the photoelectric detection technology to automatically separate the particles of different optical characteristics from the granule materials. The optical sorting machine consists mainly feeding system, optical detection system, signal processing system and separation execution system. Compared with traditional manual sorting, it is with much higher efficiency. Quartz sintering process: Quartz lumps production causes fragmentation of the quartz rock along its crystal and impurities boundaries. Since crystal boundary contains most of the mineral impurities, the liberation of its crystal and impurities boundaries is very important in downstream processing. The calcination plus water quenching process is very effective to reach the aim of removing impurities. Apart from the common thirteen types of impurities such as K, Na, Li, Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Al, the gas & fluid inclusion is also the main impurity needs to be removed. During the sintering process, the crack will present at gas & fluid content area that also contain some mineral impurities. Sintering plus water quenching process is a kind of selective fragmentation technology to select liberation of gas and fluid inclusion. In order to prevent the new contamination issues, high purity quartz glass is chosen as the sintering chamber. Quartz Magnetic separation & flotation process: Attrition is applied to clean the surface of the quartz particles. Thereby fine particles attached to quartz surfaces, e.g. clay minerals or iron oxide coatings, are liberated, which allows the subsequent physical separation including magnetic separation and flotation process. Magnetic separation removes heavy minerals from quartz as they are mostly paramagnetic or even ferromagnetic. These minerals are attracted towards increasing magnetic field strength. Most of the gangue minerals are weak magnetic minerals, so the high-intensity magnetic separator is required. Generally, there are two types high-intensity magnetic separator including permanent magnetic type and electromagnetic type. Froth flotation selectively separates minerals according to the difference of those to be wetted, enhanced or suppressed by conditioning reagents. To prevent the new impurities obtained, the flotation cells with rubber or plastic liner is necessary. Chemical processing: Chemical treatment is an important addition to physical processing methods in order to achieve maximum purity quartz through the removal of surface impurities. Leaching and hot chlorination are the two chemical treatment processes. During mixed acid treatment, medium to strong mineral acids are used at elevated temperatures. A combination of several acids can be used (HF, HCl, HNO3) to improve chemical purification results. Mineral impurity like feldspar, mica, which is very difficult to liberate during physical processing, are dissolved in the process of mixed acid washing. Additional impurities, enriched in micro fissures and structural dislocations, can be removed by the enhanced dissolution of quartz. After boiled in reactor with sufficient time, quartz will be rinsed by deionized water washing away the dissolved impurities. Hot chlorination In the hot chlorination process, quartz is heated to temperatures of 1,000 1,200 C in a chlorine or hydrogen chloride gas atmosphere. This refining process is suitable to specifically reduce the level of alkali metal, alkaline-earth metal, and transition metal impurities which are highly restricted in semiconductor applications.
Most of the quartz sand application field has strict requirements on its size range, so during the crushing and grinding process, suitable crushing & grinding solution is required to liberate quartz crystals from gangue sufficiently without contamination, meanwhile minimizing the under-size particle production.
The purity of quartz sand determines its value and application fields, and most processing is for removing the mineral impurities. So, the way to prevent new contamination during crushing and grinding process is also very important. Ceramic grinding system, stainless steel connecting parts, clean working environment and dedusting system are very helpful to minimize the emergence of new impurities.
Optical sorting is a new and advanced technology to separate the mineral ore based on the difference of the material optical properties. It uses the photoelectric detection technology to automatically separate the particles of different optical characteristics from the granule materials. The optical sorting machine consists mainly feeding system, optical detection system, signal processing system and separation execution system. Compared with traditional manual sorting, it is with much higher efficiency.
Quartz lumps production causes fragmentation of the quartz rock along its crystal and impurities boundaries. Since crystal boundary contains most of the mineral impurities, the liberation of its crystal and impurities boundaries is very important in downstream processing. The calcination plus water quenching process is very effective to reach the aim of removing impurities.
Apart from the common thirteen types of impurities such as K, Na, Li, Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Al, the gas & fluid inclusion is also the main impurity needs to be removed. During the sintering process, the crack will present at gas & fluid content area that also contain some mineral impurities. Sintering plus water quenching process is a kind of selective fragmentation technology to select liberation of gas and fluid inclusion.
Attrition is applied to clean the surface of the quartz particles. Thereby fine particles attached to quartz surfaces, e.g. clay minerals or iron oxide coatings, are liberated, which allows the subsequent physical separation including magnetic separation and flotation process.
Magnetic separation removes heavy minerals from quartz as they are mostly paramagnetic or even ferromagnetic. These minerals are attracted towards increasing magnetic field strength. Most of the gangue minerals are weak magnetic minerals, so the high-intensity magnetic separator is required. Generally, there are two types high-intensity magnetic separator including permanent magnetic type and electromagnetic type.
Froth flotation selectively separates minerals according to the difference of those to be wetted, enhanced or suppressed by conditioning reagents. To prevent the new impurities obtained, the flotation cells with rubber or plastic liner is necessary.
Chemical processing: Chemical treatment is an important addition to physical processing methods in order to achieve maximum purity quartz through the removal of surface impurities. Leaching and hot chlorination are the two chemical treatment processes.
During mixed acid treatment, medium to strong mineral acids are used at elevated temperatures. A combination of several acids can be used (HF, HCl, HNO3) to improve chemical purification results. Mineral impurity like feldspar, mica, which is very difficult to liberate during physical processing, are dissolved in the process of mixed acid washing. Additional impurities, enriched in micro fissures and structural dislocations, can be removed by the enhanced dissolution of quartz.
In the hot chlorination process, quartz is heated to temperatures of 1,000 1,200 C in a chlorine or hydrogen chloride gas atmosphere. This refining process is suitable to specifically reduce the level of alkali metal, alkaline-earth metal, and transition metal impurities which are highly restricted in semiconductor applications.
Silica sand deposits are most commonly surface-mined in open pit operations, but dredging and underground mining are also employed. Extracted ore undergoes considerable processing to increase the silica content by reducing impurities. It is then dried and sized to produce the optimum particle size distribution for the intended application.
For industrial and manufacturing applications, deposits of silica-yielding products of at least 95% SiO2 are preferred. Silica is hard and chemically inert and has a high melting point, attributable to the strength of the bonds between the atoms. These are prized qualities in applications like foundries and filtration systems. Industrial sands strength, silicon dioxide (SiO2) contribution, and non-reactive properties make it an indispensable ingredient in the production of thousands of everyday products.
Glassmaking: Silica sand is the primary component of all types of standard and specialty glass. It provides the essential SiO2 component of glass formulation, and its chemical purity is the primary determinant of colour, clarity, and strength. Industrial sand is used to produce flat glass for building and automotive use, container glass for foods and beverages, and tableware. In its pulverized form, ground silica is required for production of fiberglass insulation and reinforcing glass fibers. Specialty glass applications include test tubes and other scientific tools, incandescent and fluorescent lamps, and television and computer CRT monitors.
Metal Casting: Industrial sand is an essential part of the ferrous and non-ferrous foundry industry. Metal parts ranging from engine blocks to sink faucets are cast in a sand and clay mold to produce the external shape, with a resin bonded core creating the desired internal shape. Silicas high fusion point (1760C) and low rate of thermal expansion produce stable cores and molds compatible with all pouring temperatures and alloy systems. Its chemical purity also helps prevent interaction with catalysts or curing rate of chemical binders. Following the casting process, core sand can be thermally or mechanically recycled to produce new cores or molds.
Metal Production: Industrial sand plays a critical role in the production of a wide variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. In metal production, silica sand operates as a flux to lower the melting point and viscosity of the slags to make them more reactive and efficient. Lump silica is used either alone or in conjunction with lime to achieve the desired base/acid ratio required for purification. These base metals can be further refined and modified with other ingredients to achieve specific properties such as high strength, corrosion resistance, or electrical conductivity. Ferroalloys are essential to specialty steel production, and industrial sand is used by the steel and foundry industries for de-oxidation and grain refinement.
Chemical Production: Silicon-based chemicals are the foundation of thousands of everyday applications ranging from food processing to soap and dye production. In this case, SiO2 is reduced to silicon metal by coke in an arc furnace, to produce the Si precursor of other chemical processes. Industrial sand is the main component in chemicals such as sodium silicate, silicon tetrachloride, and silicon gels. These chemicals are used to produce household and industrial cleaners, to manufacture fiber optics, and to remove impurities from cooking oil and brewed beverages.
Construction: Industrial sand is the primary structural component in a wide variety of building and construction products. Whole grain silica is put to use in flooring compounds, mortars, specialty cements, stucco, roofing shingles, skid resistant surfaces, and asphalt mixtures to provide packing density and flexural strength without adversely affecting the chemical properties of the binding system. Ground silica performs as a functional extender to add durability and anti-corrosion and weathering properties in epoxy-based compounds, sealants, and caulks.
Paint and Coatings: Paint formulators select micron-sized industrial sands to improve the appearance and durability of architectural and industrial paint and coatings. High purity silica contributes critical performance properties such as brightness and reflectance, colour consistency, and oil absorption. In architectural paints, silica fillers improve tint retention, durability, and resistance to dirt, mildew, cracking, and weathering. Low oil absorption allows increased pigment loading for improved finish colour. In marine and maintenance coatings, the durability of silica imparts excellent abrasion and corrosion resistance.
Ceramics & Refractories: Ground silica is an essential component of the glaze and body formulations of all types of ceramic products, including tableware, sanitary ware, and floor and wall tile. In the ceramic body, silica is the skeletal structure upon which clays and flux components attach. The SiO2 contribution is used to modify thermal expansion, regulate drying and shrinkage, and improve structural integrity and appearance. Silica products are also used as the primary aggregate in both shape and monolithic type refractories to provide high temperature resistance to acidic attack in industrial furnaces.
Filtration and Water Production: Industrial sand is used in the filtration of drinking water, the processing of wastewater, and the production of water from wells. Uniform grain shapes and grain size distributions produce efficient filtration bed operation in removal of contaminants in both potable water and wastewater. Chemically inert, silica will not degrade or react when it meets acids, contaminants, volatile organics, or solvents. Silica gravel is used as packing material in deep-water wells to increase yield from the aquifer by expanding the permeable zone around the well screen and preventing the infiltration of fine particles from the formation.
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Quartz stone, also known as silica sand, is a common non-metallic material, which can be made into high-purity quartz sand after separation and purification, widely used in glass, ceramics, metallurgy, casting and refractories and other industries. So, what are the common quartz mining processes at present?
Usually, there are iron oxide, clay, mica, organic impurities, etc., in the quartz stone except for SiO2. The purpose of the quartz mining process is to remove a small amount or trace impurities in quartz stone, then obtain the refined quartz stone. At present, the common quartz mining processes mainly include the physical quartz mining process and the chemical quartz mining process. Among them, the physical quartz mining process includes washing, classifying and desliming process, scrubbing process, magnetic separation process and flotation process. The chemical quartz mining process is the acid leaching process.
The grade of SiO2 in the quartz stone is reduced with the thinner of quartz grain size, while the grade of mineral impurities (such as iron and aluminum impurities) is increased, this kind of phenomenon is especially obvious in the quartz stone containing a lot of the clay minerals. Therefore, the spiral washing machine, drum sieve, hydrocyclone, desliming bucket and hydraulic classifier are often used to the water concentration of quartz stone, it is very necessary to carry out the classification and desliming in the quartz processing plant. As a pretreatment method before the ore separation, the washing, classifying and desliming are applied earlier and widely in the quartz washing plant, but this quartz mining process doesn't have the obvious removal effect for the thin-film iron and adhesive impurity minerals on the surface of quartz stone.
Scrubbing process is mainly to remove the thin film iron, bond and muddy impurity mineral on the surface of quartz stone with the help of mechanical force and the grinding force among sand particles, and further wipe up the non-monolithic mineral aggregation, and then achieve the further quartz processing effect through the classification operation.
At present, the quartz stone scrubbing process mainly includes rod friction washing and mechanical scrubbing. For the mechanical scrubbing method, the factors affecting the scrubbing effect are mainly the structural characteristics and configuration form of the mineral scrubber, followed by technological factors (scrubbing time and scrubbing concentration).
The study shows that the scrubbing concentration of quartz stone shall be between 50% and 60%, but it also increases the difficulty of quartz processing to some extent. In principle, the scrubbing time shall be based on the requirements of preliminary product quality, not too long. Too long scrubbing time will increase the equipment wear, improve energy consumption, and increase the cost of beneficiation. For some quartz minerals, the mechanical scrubbing and wiping effect are not ideal, adding the reagents when necessary can increase the electrical repulsion on the surface of impurity minerals and quartz particles, enhance the separation effect between impurity minerals and quartz particles.
The magnetic separation process can remove the weakly magnetic impurity minerals as possible, such as hematite, limonite and biotite, etc. High-intensity magnetic separation usually adopts the wet high-intensity magnetic separator or high gradient magnetic separator. Generally speaking, the wet high-intensity magnetic separator (large than 10000 Oe) can deal with the quartz containing the weakly magnetic impurity minerals (such as limonite, hematite and biotite). It is better to use a weak magnetic separator or a medium magnetic separator to separate the quartz containing the strong magnetic impurity minerals (magnetite).
The studies show that the frequency of magnetic separation and magnetic field strength has an important effect on the iron removal effect of the magnetic separation process. With the increase of magnetic separation times, the iron content is gradually decreased. Under a certain magnetic field strength, most of the iron can be removed, while the iron removal rate has a little change even if the magnetic field strength is larger than the certain limit. In addition, the finer the particle size of quartz sand, the better the iron removal effect. The reason is that the fine quartz sand contains a high amount of iron impurity minerals. When there are more impurity minerals in the quartz sand, it is impossible to purify the quartz sand into high purity sand only by scrubbing, desliming and magnetic separation.
The flotation process is mainly to remove the non-magnetic associated impurities in quartz sand, such as feldspar, mica. The quartz sand flotation process mainly includes fluorine flotation and fluorine-free flotation process. Among them, the fluoride flotation process is carried out in the acidic pH range with the cationic collector and hydrofluoric acid activator. But the fluorine-containing wastewater causes serious environmental pollution, which needs to be discharged after treatment. The fluorine-free flotation process is to take advantage of the differences in quartz and feldspar structure, rationally mix the ratio and dosage of anion and anion mixed collector, and make use of their different Zeta potentials to preferentially float the feldspar and achieve the separation.
The acids commonly used in the acid leaching process mainly include sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid, the reducing agents mainly include sulfurous acid and its salts. The study shows that these acids have a good removal effect on the non-metallic impurities of quartz mineral. But the acid type and concentration have a significant effect on the different metal impurity. Generally, a variety of dilute acid has a significant effect on the removal of Fe and Al, while the relatively concentrated sulfuric acid and aqua regia or HF are often used in the removal of Ti and Cr. The mixed acid composed of the above acids is usually used for the acid leaching removal of impurity minerals. Since the HF has the dissolution effect on the quartz, the HF concentration is generally not more than 10%. In addition to the acid concentration, the acid amount, leaching time, temperature and slurry agitation can also affect the effect of acid leaching effect of quartz. The control of various factors shall be determined based on the final grade requirements of quartz, like reduce the concentration, temperature and dosage of acid as far as possible, decrease the time of acid leaching, so as to realize the quartz processing at a lower cost.
Due to the different amount, type and occurrence of impurities contained in quartz sand and different product quality requirements, a single quartz mining process may not be able to achieve the purpose of quartz sand purification, and sometimes the several quartz mining processes are required to form a combined beneficiation process. The common quartz mining processes are as follows:
In the weathering sedimentary and mineralization process of quartz sand, a large number of clayey minerals and iron form the cementation or adhesion minerals on the surface of the quartz. It is a common quartz mining process to adopt the scrubbing-classifying- desliming process to remove clay impurity minerals, argillaceous iron, and some thin-film iron. This quartz mining process is generally used as a pretreatment process before raw ore separation, which can effectively remove the argillaceous impurities.
Generally, the common impurity minerals in the quartz (such as the limonite, tourmaline, hematite and biotite and other weakly magnetic minerals, magnetite and other strongly magnetic minerals) can only be removed by a magnetic separation process. In the actual production, the wet strong magnetic separator with 13000 Oe of magnetic field strength is mostly used for separation.
After the washing, magnetic separation and flotation separation of raw ore, the impurity mineral particles with low occurrence (including monomer, aggregate) are basically cleared, the silica purity can generally reach 99.5%-99.9%, basically can meet the majority of industrial requirements of quartz sand. However, in order to obtain the ultra-high purity quartz, the impurities continuously adhere to the surface of quartz particles in the form of spots and inclusions must be treated with acid leaching. The mixed acid leaching with different concentrations and matching must be carried out according to the different requirements of impurity minerals (Fe, AL, Ti, Cr) in the different industries. The high purity quartz with silica content of 99.99% or more can be obtained by the rod milling washing - desliming - magnetic separation - flotation - acid leaching process.
By improving the structure of existing mineral scrubber, optimizing the technical parameters, add reagents for high-efficiency and strong scrubbing classifying and desliming can remove more than 80% of impurity iron and aluminum ore. The magnetic separation process is mainly to remove the iron-contained impurity minerals. Through this quartz mining process, the high-quality refined quartz sand (silicon dioxide 99.8%, iron oxide 0.023%, aluminum oxide 0.05%, titanium dioxide 0.02%) can be obtained, which has reached the requirements of primary optical glass sand, and the yield of fine quartz sand is as high as 73%, while the yield of rod friction washing is only 49%. After further flotation and acid leaching process, the high-purity quartz (silica 99.9%, ferric oxide 0.005%, aluminum oxide 0.05%, titanium dioxide 0.02%) can be obtained. This quartz mining process overcomes the shortcomings of secondary contamination of iron caused by rod friction washing and low yield.
In the practice, the selection of the quartz mining processes and flows is often determined based on the nature of quartz stone, conditions of the quartz processing plant, investment budget. It is suggested to choose a single or joint quartz mining process through the mineral processing test report, thus striving for the ideal technical and economic benefits.