Wed. Jul 6th, 2022

Various factors determine the grade of mica used in various applications. Typically, manufacturers choose a grade based on the expected cost-benefit ratio, technical benefits, and value. Mica grades must have consistent properties such as sharp top cut, limited fines, steep distribution, and utmost cleanliness. Imerys processes mica using three different routes: floatation, wet concentration, and spiral. These processes generate a wide variety of mica grades.

Mica concentrate is made from pure muscovite and about 15% grit. Some grades of mica are referred to as “flake mica” while others are referred to as “coarse mica”. Several uses for this type of mica include sound dampening, decorative products, and oil well drilling. Mica is further processed to obtain the desired product. Mica is used in many in uv phang applications, ranging from cosmetics to paints.

Various tests were conducted in the pilot plant, and the flowsheet shown in figure 1 was found to be the most effective. The ore was then ground in a rodmill in the presence of sodium hydroxide, which aids in dispersing clay slimes. The rodmill was fitted with a 20-mesh trommel, and the grinding rate was adjusted accordingly. The mica produced was of high quality. The method is effective in a wide range of ores and can be easily modified to meet individual requirements.

Generally, the coarse-size mica is ground using chaser-type mills. The surfaces of the grind must be carefully fabricated in order to maintain the mica sheen. Chaser type mills feature a steel tank lined with wooden blocks and rollers that revolve at 15 to 30 rpm. Mica is fed to the mill by hoppers. After settling, water is added slowly until the material forms a thick paste. A typical batch of mica is ground for six to eight hours. Afterwards, the coarse mica is recycled for grinding.

The next step in mica processing is to extract the mineral. Mica is a mineral with a high content of Fe. In ideal biotite, Fe makes up about 23% of the total mass. The structural Fe of mica participates in several electron-transfer reactions in soils. Micas are implicated in reducing Cr(vi) to Cr(iii).

Some micas have a distinctive cleavage forming into thin sheets. This is the manifestation of sheet structure, and differentiates mica from chlorite and talc. Some micas exhibit characteristic colours. Muscovites, paragonites, and biotites are generally colourless. Biotites may be red, or brown. Phokopites, on the other hand, are almost colourless and range in colour from pale lavender to honey brown.

Mica is comprised primarily of Si and Al, with trace amounts of Ti and Fe. Glauconite is similar to illite, but contains more Fe than Al. Its octahedral sheet is also a common feature. Mica processing requires transparency of operations, and adopting industry standards to control risks. This information is vital for effective change. This blog is written by ELEVATE staff and associates. Mica Processing is a complex process, and there is no single process that is 100 percent effective.

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