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[American Gilsonite Co] A registered trademark for a very pure, rock-hard, Asphalt originally sold in the late 19th century. Gilsonite®, or uintahite, is a natural Bitumen found only in the Uinta Mountains of Utah. It is very brittle and lustrous. Gilsonite® is used in black varnishes, lacquers, baking enamels, japans, Linoleum, floor tile and paving where it increases resistance to acids, alkalis and water. In the early 19th century, Gilsonite® was often mixed with Mica, Asbestos, gums, or resins to produce electrical components. It is also the first solid hydrocarbon to be converted to Gasoline.

Synonyms and Related Terms

uintaite; gilsonita (Esp.); asfaltita (Esp.); uintahite; Gilsonite; asphaltite; Utah coal resin; rock asphalt


Gilsonite (bitumen), Gettens 100.A56.TIF

Other Properties

Soluble in ethanol, turpentine, mineral spirits.

Softening point = 290-400F. Acid value = 2.3

Density 1.04-1.10

Hazards and Safety

Skin contact may cause irritation.

Additional Information

American Gilsonite Co.: Website

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 9977
  • 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