Minerals, aggregates and sands consist of bulk or particulate forms of silicates, clays, calcium carbonate, wollastonite, and other additives. Minerals, aggregates, and mineral powders are commonly used to extend, fill, strengthen or modify plastics, coatings, adhesives, and other materials.
Many minerals, aggregates and sands are used as fillers and extenders in other compounds because they are chemically inert. Mineral powder such as mica or slate is used in paints, resins, and plastics. Ground calcium carbonate is a fine limestone compound that is used in asphalt roofing tiles, vinyl flooring, and as a component in adhesives and sealants. Minerals, aggregates, and mineral powders are also used in chemical and metallurgical production, including the manufacture of steel, iron and glass materials.
Minerals, aggregates and sands include construction aggregates composed of limestone that are used as road stone and drainage stone. Aggregate materials are irregularly-shaped fragments that have a low porosity and can withstand a wide temperature range. Other minerals, aggregates and sands are used in specialty applications. Alumina trihydrate is a compound mixed with plastics such as carpet backing for its flame retardant qualities. Alumina trihydrate is also used as an extender in coatings, inks, and adhesives. Wollastonite is a common mineral in metamorphic rocks formed from an interaction between limestone and silica. Wollostonite is valued for its heat resistance and is commonly used as a filler in ceramic tiles and paints.
Other minerals, aggregates and sands include compounds such as carbon black and wood flour. Carbon black is a compound made from the incomplete combustion of natural gas or oil. Carbon black is commonly used to reinforce tires and as a component in toners and printing inks and in plastic applications such as films, cable, and pipes. Wood flour is actually a wood by-product with a fine consistency. Wood flour is used as a filler in resins and epoxies to make a thicker consistency.