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Crocidolite at 200x


Crocidolite at 200x polarized light

A fibrous, blue-green mineral composed of sodium iron silicate. Crocidolite is a minor commercial form of asbestos, called blue asbestos. It is found in Europe, Africa, South America and the United States. Crocidolite fibers have a harsh texture. They have fair flexibility and are strong. Crocidolite fibers are used to reinforce polymers and as heat resistant textiles.

Synonyms and Related Terms

blue asbestos; riebeckite; crocidolite (Port.); Krokidolit (Deut.)


  • Noncombustible. Unaffected by heat.
  • Carcinogenic.
  • Highly toxic by inhalation of dust.
  • Skin contact cause irritation.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Fiber length = 12-300 mm (0.5 - 12 inches)
  • Diameter = 300-350 angstroms.
  • Luster = silky to dull.
  • Cross section is polygonal or circular.
  • Tensile strength = 80,000-200,00 psi
  • Resistant to alkalis and acids.
Mohs Hardness 4.0
Density 3.2-3.3 g/ml

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Identification of Textile Materials, The Textile Institute, Manchester, England, 1985
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998