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1) The tendency of a crystal to break or separate along the crystal lattice plane.

2) Minerals and rocks, such as Mica, can cleave along a plane to form a smooth surface. The type of rock, strain intensity, and metamorphic grade, control the type of cleavage developed, such as slaty cleavage, crenulation cleavage, schistosity, and rough cleavage.

3) The separation of paint from its support. Cleavage is due to the contraction or expansion of the support. The paint, under this stress, can form tent-like ridges or concave flakes.

Synonyms and Related Terms

clivage (Fr.); clivagem (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • José Delgado Rodrigues, LNEC, Submitted information, 2009.
  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942
  • Walter C. McCrone, John Gustave Delly, The Particle Atlas, W. McCrone Associates, Chicago, IV, 1972
  • 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

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