Soapstone is a majestic metamorphic rock composed of talc minerals with a salient percentage of magnesium silicate. This talc-schist is also referred to as steatite or talc rock. Its composition makes it a suitable stone for various industries due to the presence of different minerals
Soapstone minerals are widely used in cosmetics, sculpture, construction, soaps & detergents manufacturing, etc. Hence, it is a versatile stone. The presence of talc imparts a soft and soapy texture to sandstone, hence the name.
Soapstone: Formation and Extraction
Soapstone has been quarried and used for thousands of years now due to its ease of extraction. Its formation takes place in the regions of tectonic plates subduction. Thereby, the natural rocks endure extreme heat and pressure, along with the influx of fluids.
When this natural rock undergoes metasomatism and dynamo-thermal metamorphism, they form soapstone minerals. Despite being dense and non-porous rock, it is easy to carve from the outcrop. So, its extraction process takes place with the help of large quarrying tools made from quartzite.
You can find it in the form of soapstone powder, lumps, blocks, and slabs. Among the pioneer manufacturers of soapstone powder, Aravali Onyx has earned a reputation and deals majorly with talc powder.
Some Interesting Facts on Soapstone
The popularity and demand for soapstone have not ceased since time immemorial. So, let’s find out the reasons behind it through some fascinating facts about soapstone.
- It occurs in two different forms, talc and rock steatite, based on its composition.
- It is a non-porous, non-absorbent, and heat-resistant mineral. Hence, it is preferred for house applications, such as countertops, tiles, fireplaces, etc.
- Despite having a soft texture, it is known for its durability and endures the test of time. Its composition and level of metamorphism of parent rock determine the hardness of soapstone.
- Its application also took place in the revolutionary war to create bullet moulds due to the heat resistance and easy carving.
- Sandstone leaves a distinct white mark when rubbed against any other object but is also easy to remove. So, various craftsmen, seamstresses, and carpenters use it as a highlighter. Also, it is resistant to heat, hence comes in handy during the welding process as a marker.
- Refrigerated soapstone cubes are an effective alternative to ice cubes used for chilling the whiskey without diluting the concentration of alcohol. It can keep the drinks cold for about 30 minutes. Moreover, its soft texture makes it a perfect match for whiskey, as it keeps the glass scratch-free.
You can get in more detail about soapstone, and its properties by reading about Soapstones in depth here.
Areas Where Soapstone is Applicable
The application of soapstone has been observed in several areas due to its unique properties.
- Soapstone powder is used while manufacturing various cosmetic items like baby powder, soaps, etc.
- The heat resistance characteristic of sandstone makes it a perfect fit for cookware, kitchen countertops, and sinks.
- Besides this, chemistry lab countertops and sink surfaces are also manufactured with steatite due to their chemical inertness.
- Its usage in inlaid designs, sculptures, fireplaces, and wood stoves also occurs due to its elegance.
Industries That Make Use of Soapstone
Let’s explore how soapstone powder from the Aravali Minerals group is used in various industries.
1. Paper Industry
Soapstone talc plays a vital role in the process of paper-making. It is used as a filler which makes the surface of the paper smooth, porous, and opaque. Due to being hydrophobic, it is an ingredient that controls pitch and stickiness to prevent the paper machinery from wear and tear.
2. Plastic Industry
Talc is also an excellent blender due to its electrical and thermal resistance. So here also, it serves as an excellent filler. It also provides smoothness to the plastic surface, like in paper-making.
Moreover, its chemical, electrical, and thermal inertness help bring stiffness, hardness, tensile strength to plastic products. Hence, its usage is popular in HDPE, PVC, PP, LDPE, ABS, and thermosetting compounds.
3. Paint Industry
Soapstone powder is the principal industrial mineral used as a filler or extender in paints. The talc has excellent brightness & whiteness. Thus, it is used in manufacturing fancy paints, which helps improve their robustness and stability. It also imparts corrosion resistance and decay inhibition to paints besides controlling their glossiness.
4. Filler raw material in many chemical industries
Other industries that make use of soapstone talc as a filler include soap & detergent, rubber, ceramics, and pharmaceutical industries. Also, it is used in pulses polishing in dal mills, along with the textile and ink industry.
Get Soapstone From Aravali Onyx
Aravali Onyx is among the pioneer and trusted manufacturers of soapstone. We export high-quality soapstone powder and lumps to various industries.
So, whether you are looking for raw material for ceramics, cosmetics, or any other industry, feel free to contact us. Besides soapstone, The Aravali Minerals Group is also known for exporting marble, dolomite, and granite worldwide.