PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF MINERALS
Table of Contents
Inorganic substances which has more or less definite atomic structure and chemical composition
It has consistent physical characteristics that are used to identify minerals in the field. And It can be split into two categories. There are many rock-forming minerals in the earth’s crust. Which minerals are economically valuable when they form ore?
MINERAL GROUP EXAMPLES
Oxides: Quartz, magnetite, haematite, etc
Silicates: Feldspar, mica, hornblende, augite, olivine,et
Carbonates: Calcite, dolomite, etc
Sulphides: Pyrites, galena, sphalerite, etc
Chlorite: Rock salt, etc
Over 4000 minerals exist in the earth’s crust. All are made of silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, silicon, and oxygen.
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF MINERALS
The following are the important physical properties OF MINERALS:
vi) Specific gravity
Color is not constant in most of the minerals and commonly the color is due to stain or impurities in the minerals some minerals show peculiar phenomena connected with color.
Play of colors: It is the development of a series of prismatic colors shown by some minerals or turning about in light.
Change of colors: It is similar to play of colors that rate of change of colors on rotation is rather slow.
Iridescene: Some minerals show rainbow colors either in their interior on the surface. This is termed iridescence.
The streak, which is the color of the mineral powder, is more nearly constant than the color. The streak is determined by marking unglazed porcelain or simply by scratching it with a knife and observing the color of the powder.
It is the appearance of a fresh surface of a mineral in ordinary reflected light. The following are the important terms used to denote the lustre of
minerals. Classy or vitreous lustre – Lustre like a broken glass
Metallic lustre – When a mineral has lustre like
metal. Pearly lustre – Lustre like pearls
This is a term used to denote the shape and form of minerals. The following are the important terms used to denote the structures of minerals.
Columnar Structure – The mineral has a thick or thin column like Structures
Bladed Structure – The mineral has blade like structure.
Radiated structure – For columnar of fibrous diverging from central Points
Lamellar structure – The mineral made of separable
plates. Botroidal structure – For an aggregate like bunch
of grapes. Reniform structure – For kindney shaped aggregate.
The Moh’scale of hardness, which is a standard scale of ten minerals, is used to measure a mineral’s resistance to abrasion or scratching.
Hardness mineral : Name of the
The scale comprises ten minerals arranged to order of ascending hardness; the softest is assigned a value of 1 and the hardest value of 10. Hardness of any mineral will lie in between these two limits.
It may be defined as the density of the mineral compared to the density of water and as such represents a ratio.ie specific gravity of a mineral is the ratio of its weight of an equal
volume of water. Specific gravity of a mineral depends upon the weight and spacing of its atoms.
It is described as a mineral’s propensity to fracture along specific, defined planes, producing more or less smooth surfaces. The internal makeup of a mineral is related to cleavage. The cleavage planes are always perpendicular to some faces of the typical mineral crystal form. The degree of perfection or ease with which minerals can separate along the cleavage planes is another way to describe it.
The appearance of a mineral’s broken surface can be used to define its fractures. Typical fracture types include:
Conchodal fracture – The broken surfaces shows concentric rings Or curved surface.
Even fracture – When the broken surface is smooth and flat.
Uneven fracture – When the mineral breaks with an irregular Surface. It is a common fracture of many Minerals.
Splintery structure – When the mineral breaks with a rough.
Important properties related to the tenacity of the minerals are expressed by the terms like balances, flexibility, elasticity, sectility and malleability etc. when a mineral can be cut with a knife it is termed ‘sectile and if the slice cut out from it can be flattened under a hammer. It is also said ella’mble”brittle’minerals. Term elastic is used if it regains its former shape as the pressure is released.