What Are the Uses of Quartzite?

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Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that is created when quartz sandstone undergoes metamorphism. Metamorphism involves extreme heat and pressure, which causes quartz grains to compact and weave tightly together creating dense quartzite. Its density makes quartzite mostly resistant to erosion and volatile weather. Quartzite has a myriad of uses from ground rock in road work to glassy decorative beads.

Decoration

  • Quartzite is generally gray or white in color and has a glossy surface. Its sleek appearance and ability to break smoothly make it a valuable decorative material. Slabs of quartzite are used in a variety of building endeavors such as wall covers, roofing tiles and flooring. Quartzite can also be made into bricks, tiles, plastics and concrete. The Horton House at Acadia University used white rock quartzite, quarried in nearby White Rock British Colombia, to build the upper walls in the residence building.

Crushed Stone

  • Quartzite can also be used as crush stone, generally in road construction. Eighty-five percent of crushed stone in the United States gets used during road repairs, according to the Mineral Information Institute. However, quartzite is used minimally and limestone is actually the mineral most commonly used when crushed rock is necessary.

Landscaping

  • Quartzite is used in landscaping because of its smooth texture and ability to reflect light. Quartzite grains are popular in garden paths and in other outdoor spaces because it is easy to walk on. When manufactured, it has a single color that is often desirable in landscaping. Its nonporous properties also make it great for outdoor use because very little sticks to it, which prevents the growth of mold and bacteria.

Beads and Statues

  • Quartzite's glassy color and smooth texture make it useful in gems and beads. Quartzite is often used as replacement for jade, specifically Indian jade. Quartzite is also dyed and used as a substitute for pink and purple jade. According to an article published by Central Michigan's College of Science and Technology, aventurine quartzite, especially the green variety, has long been used in carved and sphere-shaped beads. Additionally, quartzite can be carved in statuary and is often the material chosen to create arrowhead replicas and Indian relics.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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