Wollastonite

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Wollastonite

Description

A fibrous white mineral composed of calcium metasilicate. Wollastonite was named for the English mineralogist William Wollaston in the early 1800s. The mineral is formed by the metamorphosis of siliceous limestones at high temperatures (>600 C). Major sources of wollastonite occur in Romania (Ciclova Romîna), Finland (Pargas), Mexico, the U.S. (Utah, Michigan, California, New York) and Italy (the lavas of Monte Somma and Vesuvius). Wollastonite is used in ceramics, floor tiles, insulators, paints, plastics, and cements. It has also been used as a bubble-free white opacifier in glazes. Wollastonite can form as a decomposition product during glass devitrification.

Synonyms and Related Terms

tabular spar; calcium silicate

Raman

WollastoniteRS.jpg


Other Properties

Triclinic system with tabular crystals, fibers or masses. Perfect cleavage in two directions. Fluorescent. May be white, gray, yellow, red or brown.

Fracture = uneven or splintery. Luster = vitreous to silky. Streak = white

Composition CaSiO3
Mohs Hardness 4.5 - 5.5
Density 2.8-3.1
Refractive Index 1.62 - 1.65

Hazards and Safety

Inhalation and contact may cause skin, eye and lung irritation.

Additional Information

Mineralogy Database: Wollastonite

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 133
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "wollastonite." Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 Dec. 2004 . Mohs = 4.5-5
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998