K-Feldspar

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Mineral: K-Feldspar

K-Feldspar, also known as Potassium Feldspar or orthoclase, is the most common rock-forming mineral. It covers up about 60% of the Earth’s crust (Feldspar). Feldspar crystalizes from magma which is found in both extrusive and intrusive igneous rocks as well as metamorphic rocks (wisconsingeologicalsurvey.org). They form at medium to high temperature and at certain depths. They may also be found in some sedimentary rocks. This mineral is widespread and can mostly be found throughout North Carolina. It is also abundant in many geological settings in Wisconsin. It is a major element of granitic and syenitic rocks in the central and northeastern part of the state. Feldspar is also located in countries such as includes Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Norway, Spain and Germany. Feldspar was first mined along with clay in an area near Sylva in Jackson County in the late 1800’s (Feldspar). The mineral, K-feldspar, originated from Germany. The word feldspar came from the word “feldt spat”, meaning “field spar”. “Spar” means common cleavable material-the material combed up on farm lands during plowing (Mineral Zone). K-Feldspar is also known as Orthoclase, which got its name from the Greek. Feldspar minerals are to some extent translucent and have a glassy or vitreous luster (Mineral Gallery). Orthoclase, which is another name for K-Feldspar, is usually light colored white, pink, yellow, or cream. The hardness of the mineral is a 6 on Moh’s Hardness Scale.
Feldspar is generally used for a few purposes. Feldspar is used as a powdery mineral that is commonly used to make ceramics and pots. It is also used in household cleaners and medications like anti constipation drugs. It is primarily used in the manufacture of glass products as well as the manufacture of ceramics. Feldspar enhances certain qualities to the development. Alumina provides hardness, workability, strength, and makes glass more resistant to chemicals (Feldspar).



Cited: http://www.geology.enr.state.nc.us/Mineral%20resources/feldmod.html http://www.mineralgallery.co.za/orthoclase.htm http://www.mineralszone.com/minerals/feldspar.html http://wisconsingeologicalsurvey.org/mineral%20index/Minerals/potassiumfeldspar.htm

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