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The chemical formula of mineral Chrysotile is indicated by (Mg, Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4 or Magnesium Iron Silicate Hydroxide. Chrysotile is actually a Silicate mineral. Chrysotile is actually used as a group name in the year 1956 for its mineral varieties like clinochrysotile and orthochrysotile. The name of the mineral Chrysotile was actually derived fro a Greek words chrysos, which means gold and tilos, which means asbestos. This is maybe an allusion to the crystal form and color of the mineral species Chrysotile. Chrysotile is known to crystallize in the monoclinic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, the monoclinic system of crystal formation comprises crystals having three axes of unequal lengths. Two of which are usually found in a position that is oblique or not perpendicular to one another. However, both of which are commonly found perpendicular to the third axis.

 

            Chrysotile is actually a fibrous variety of the magnesium silicate mineral serpentine. And Chrysotile is considered as the most important asbestos mineral, which is usually found exhibiting nice and splendid microscope image under polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. The fibers of this asbestos mineral Chrysotile are commonly found having higher tensile strength than any other asbestos minerals. But they are also found as less acid-resistant that the fibrous amphiboles. Chrysotile mineral is actually an asbestiform subgroup that belongs to the serpentine group of minerals. Chrysotile mineral has three different species. These are the clinochrysotile, orthocrysotile and parachrysotile. The clinochrysotile is a monoclinic mineral and is considered as the most common variety, while orthochrysotile is an orthorhombic mineral. Parachrysotile on the other hand, is an orthorhombic polymorph. All these Chrysotile varieties are phyllosilicates. And all these three minerals are mined as asbestos. But unlike other asbestos, Chrysotile is only risky if absorbed in extreme quantities. This is because Chrysotile minerals are rolled phyllosilicates while the other asbestos are bladed amphiboles, which may become embedded in lung tissue upon inhalation and may eventually cause cancers in tissues. The risk of Chrysotile on the other hand is not cancerous but instead, if inhaled in extreme quantities may cause the same risk as silicosis, a risk caused by inhalation of the fine-grained quartz crystals.

 

            Mineral Chrysotile aggregates make up the serpentine asbestos. This serpentine asbestos is considered the most important type of commercially mined asbestos. The main producing countries of this asbestos form of Chrysotile are Canada and Russia. The individual fibers of this Chrysotile mineral are usually white and silky. But those aggregates in veins are usually green or yellowish in color. These can be distinguished when mineral is viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes. Chrysotile fibers have also high tensile strength just like other asbestos minerals. Mineral Chrysotile is commonly used as the building fire retarder, brake pads, filters, roofing tiles, fibers in fibrocement and road surfaces and also as weavable material for refractory clothes.

 

            The color of the mineral Chrysotile varies from gray white to golden yellow to green when viewed in transmitted light of petrographic polarizing microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Chrysotile is most commonly found showing fibrous to silky luster when the mineral is evaluated in reflected light of polarizing microscope. There is no cleavage found for mineral Chrysotile even when it is closely evaluated under several adjustments on the aperture diaphragm of the polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. Chrysotile is also most commonly found exhibiting splintery fracture when it is viewed between crossed nicols of polarized light microscope used in optical mineralogy. The density measure of the mineral is commonly found as 2.53 grams per cubic centimeters. The hardness measure of the mineral Chrysotile using the Mohs scale method is usually found ranging from 2.5 to 3. Chrysotile is commonly found leaving a white streak when mineral specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate.

 

            The crystals of mineral Chrysotile are commonly found translucent in appearance. The crystal habit of the mineral Chrysotile commonly includes acicular crystals, which occurs as needle like crystals. These fibrous crystals of Chrysotile are considered diagnostic. And these Chrysotile mineral fibers are commonly found growing parallel to one another and are commonly perpendicular to the walls of cracks in the surrounding rock.

 

            Chrysotile is also most commonly found showing a biaxial figure when viewed between crossed nicols of polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. The indices of refraction of mineral Chrysotile is also commonly found ranging from 1.569 to 1.570. The maximum birefringence of mineral Chrysotile is commonly found as 0.001. The mineral has moderate surface relief found when evaluated between crossed nicols of polarized light microscope. After several chemical analyses, Chrysotile minerals are found not radioactive. Chrysotile minerals are commonly found possessing interesting properties such as sound insulating, fire resistant, thermally and electrically insulating, chemically inert and are flexible with enough high tensile strength to be woven. There is no specific data on the toxicity and health dangers for this mineral Chrysotile. However, the specimens of this mineral should be treated with great care and use of sensible precaution is advised upon handling them. Chrysotile minerals are commonly rough but are so silky to touch. The fiber crystals are very flexible.

 

            Chrysotile is commonly associated with several other interesting minerals such as olivine, calcite, biotite, chromite, garnets and talc. Chrysotile minerals are commonly formed as results of the hydrothermal or retrograde metamorphism of mafic minerals like olivine, amphibole or pyroxene. Mineral Chrysotile is largely deposited in the Ural Mountains in Russia as well as in Quebec, Canada.



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Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 6:31 am
Category:
The Silicates Mineral Class
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