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    Your location: Home » Products > - Sepiolite

    Sepiolite

    Sepiolite,also known as meerschaum is a soft white clay mineral, often used to make tobacco pipes (known as meerschaum pipes).
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    Sepiolite,also known as meerschaum is a soft white clay mineral, often used to make tobacco pipes (known as meerschaum pipes). A complex magnesium silicate, a typical chemical formula for which is Mg4Si6O15(OH)2·6H2O, it can be present in fibrous, fine-particulate, and solid forms.

    Originally named meerschaum by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1788, it was named sepiolite by Ernst Friedrich Glocker in 1847 for an occurrence in Bettolino, Baldissero Canavese, Torino Province, Piedmont, Italy. The name comes from Greek sepion , meaning "cuttlebone" (the porous internal shell of the cuttlefish), + lithos , meaning stone, after a perceived resemblance of this mineral to cuttlebone. Because of its low specific gravity and its high porosity it may float upon water, hence its German name. It is sometimes found floating on the Black Sea and rather suggestive of sea-foam, hence the German origin of the name as well as the French name for the same substance, écume de mer.

    In addition to its use in pipes, sepiolite is used in oil drilling and for cat litter. In construction, sepiolite can be used in lime mortars as water reservoir.

    Characteristics
    Sepiolite is opaque and off-white, grey or cream color, breaking with a conchoidal or fine earthy fracture, and occasionally fibrous in texture. Due to the fact it can be readily scratched with the finger nail, its hardness is ranked at about 2 on the Mohs scale. The specific gravity varies from 0.988 to 1.279, but the porosity of the mineral may lead to error. Sepiolite is a hydrous magnesium silicate having the chemical formula Mg4Si6O15(OH)2·6H2O.

    When first extracted, sepiolite is soft. However, it hardens on exposure to solar heat or when dried in a warm room.

    Other uses
    In Somalia and Djibouti, sepiolite is used to make the dabqaad, a traditional incense burner. The mineral is mined in the district of El Buur, the latter of which serves as a center for quarrying. El Buur is also the place of origin of the local pipe-making industry.

    Imitations are made in plaster of Paris and other preparations.

    The soft, white, earthy mineral from Långbanshyttan, in Värmland, Sweden, known as aphrodite (Greek: sea foam), is closely related to sepiolite.

    In addition to its use in pipes, sepiolite is used in oil drilling and for cat litter. In construction, sepiolite can be used in lime mortars as water reservoir.
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