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FELDSPAR comprises a group of minerals containing potassium, sodium, calcium and aluminum silicates. They are the most common rock-forming minerals. The common feldspar is potassium feldspar, namely, orthoclase (K2O, Al2O3, 6SiO2). Sodium feldspar is albite (Na2O, Al2O3, 6SiO2) and calcium feldspar is anorthite (CaO, Al2O3, 2SiO2). A variety of crossed, hatched, twinned orthoclase (to be seen under the petrological microscope only) is called microcline. Sodium and calcium feldspars form an somorphous mixture known as plagioclase feldspars.
In between sodium and calcium, the other feldspars of the plagioclase series are oligoclase, andesine, labradorite and bytownite. They are composed of suitable proportions of sodium and calcium with an increasing percentage of calcium beginning from mineral oligoclase to bytownite, turning completely into calcium feldspar (anorthite). A rock containing only plagioclase feldspars is called anorthosite.
The commercial feldspar is orthoclase. The potassium molecule is replaced by sodium to some extent and hence, orthoclase feldspar usually contains a small percentage of sodium. The composition range of the commercial feldspar varies within the limits of potash, soda and upto oligoclase.
Potash and soda feldspar occur as essential constituents of granite, syenite and gneisses. However, workable deposits are found in pegmatite veins consisting mainly of feldspar, quartz-feldspar veins and also occur with mica pegmatites. Feldspar is of widespread occurrence and is mined in almost all countries.
|Analysis||P-Spar 01||P-Spar 02||P-Spar 03|
|SiO2||67.50% (Â? 01.00%)||69.50% (Â? 01.00%||72.50% (Â? 02.00%)|
|Al2O3||17.75% (Â? 00.50%)||17.05% (Â? 00.50%)||15.50% (Â? 01.00%)|
|K2O||12.10% (Â? 00.60%||10.00% (Â? 00.50%)||08.00% (Â? 01.00%)|
|Na2O||02.50% (Â? 00.80%)||02.50% (Â? 00.80%)||02.75% (Â? 01.00%)|
|Fe2O3||00.07% (Â? 00.01%)||00.10 (Â? 00.02%)||00.20 (Â? 00.05%)|
|LoI @ 1000ºC||00.10%||00.10%||00.10%|
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