Talc – For Technical Ceramics

Talc mineral has been used in many applications in Ceramic sector mainly in ceramic tiles, bathroom fixtures, pottery, glaze and dinnerware in bulk quantities in powdered form along with other minerals. Talc acts as a catalyst to improve heat resistance, thermal shock resistance and the strength of the end product.

Although talc mineral acts as a cheap ingredient in the ceramic industry, especially for the ceramic body, not all types of talc are suitable for specialized applications in technical ceramics.

Technical ceramics differ from decorative ceramics in terms of optimized properties with regards to heat resistance, mechanical stability and dimensional stability.

SKKU MINERALS produces refined grades of ceramic speciality talc powder with distinct characteristic features desirable for Technical Ceramic applications:

Microcrystalline or granular Structure

Low CaO contents

Low Fe2o3 content

Low Chlorite contents

Lower levels of LOI and shrinkage

High dry brightness and fired brightness

The material is ground to specific particle size for optimal performance.

For more information please write to us at info@skkuminerals.com

Indian Talc Market

Talc comprises as one of the key minerals in the category of industrial minerals traded from the country. India stands as one key resource for various grades of talc for domestic consumption as well as exports. India has one of the best and purest of talc deposits in the world. 

The state of Rajasthan in the northwestern part of India is the epicentre of traditional talc trade since the beginning of the century. The key talc mining areas lie in and around the districts of Udaipur, Jaipur, Dausa and Bhilwara where the talc industry lies. 

There are more than 400 small and medium industries which work around talc and associated minerals in mining and processing of minerals. 

The state of Rajasthan has various grades of talc composing of Pure Talc, Talc Chlorites to Talc carbonates. The major deposits still comprise of Talc Carbonate. Based on the nature of talc the talc is been processed and ground in various mills like pulverizes, roller mills, jet mills into various fineness of powders for use in industries like ceramics, paper, paints and coatings, plastics, rubber, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and many more.

The talc industry is divided into three major categories:

  1. Mine owners
  2. Processors/Manufacturers
  3. Traders/Exporters

The division is based on the specialization and complexity of trade as all activities are treated as a separate entity. This division has given away to the development of many industries, traders and associations and hence the nature of business is not monopolistic.  

Talc users:

Initially, the paper industry was the key consumer of the talc powder with bulk consumptions. Gradually, with the development of other minerals, the use of talc in paper reduced but it still remains as one of the bulk consumers of talc. Even the smallest of paper mills consume talc not less than 100- 150 MT a month. 

Today, paints and coatings industries are the key consumer of talc with the plastic industry as the growth inhibitors. Other major industries are ceramics, rubber, foundry, refractory, soaps, cosmetics, food and pharma.

Mining developments:

Talc was once a sought commodity from Rajasthan but the recent developments in mining have led to finding more potent and high-quality white talc resources from the state of Uttrakhand. Last 15 years have seen an uprise in the talc mining from the northern Indian state of Uttrakhand. The quality is incomparable to any commercial white talc resource from Rajasthan or from around the world and Uttarakhand becomes one key player especially for white and pure talc from India.

As for talc mining, Uttarakhand becomes new Rajasthan with high-quality pure talc lumps. The deposits here are huge, pure and sought for high-end applications in plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals.

Although everything looks good, the tough weather situations in Uttarakhand does not lead to a fuller development of the talc industry. There are many small and medium-sized players who buy talc lumps and grind them there. However, the weather and geographic conditions for a fuller development of the talc industry do not support.

Therefore the talc mined in Uttarakhand is traded in various parts of India and also much of high-quality talc is been exported worldwide.

States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka in the southern part of India also have talc resources though not in the purest form. The natural talc is a mixture of carbonates.

The availability of talc deposit is a boon to the local industries consumes the talc coming from Rajasthan. 

Moreover, there has been news of finding new talc resources in the states of Jharkhand, M.P, Assam, Maharashtra, Orissa but these are into the development phase and there is no news concerning the commercialization of these resources. 

Also, neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan have a subsequent quality of talc resources but mining in these countries have been banned due to environmental factors.

Future of Talc:

The demand for talc has been rising and so is the production. Therefore there is no lack of demand or supply. However, geographically the talc markets are more distributed now with the development of the talc industry around the mining resources.  Rajasthan is still the key producer and distributor of talc because of the inflow of white talc raw materials coming from Haldwani Uttrakhand.

Government policies towards mining also play a major role. In recent times there has been no major development in granting new leases or reviving old mining leases or closed mines. 

But recent developments in plastics, especially automobile plastics and demand for ultrafine powders, have given away to new developments and newer markets and there will be newer requirements for technical products. 

Exports: 

India remains one of the stable economies for the supply of conflict-free talc lumps for export worldwide. The best quality talc lumps from Uttarakhand are a pricey possession and exported worldwide. Japan remains as a key buyer for the top quality of talc raw material importer from India besides exports to other parts of the world. 

From Asian continent, Pakistan and Afghanistan are key exporters of white talc lumps besides China but the materials coming from Afghan and Pak does not 100% qualify as conflict-free and some confusion of illicit trade always remains. So, this gives much hope to the buyers for Indian talc which is conflict-free and is mined and exported legally from the country. 

SKKU MINERALS:

SKKU MINERALS, leading Talc Powder manufacturers, stands as an independent prominent player in the production and distribution of quality/technical talc and associated minerals. Over time, SKKU MINERALS has developed a partnership with various mine owners from Rajasthan and other states for supply of quality talc products. We have dedicated plants for the manufacturing of technical talc products for applications ranging in food, cosmetics, pharma and plastics. Also, ultra-fine products have been developed as Tio2 Spacer for reducing the use of Tio2 in various end-use formulations.

For more information get in touch with us info@skkuminerals.com 

IMP: Statistical data’s pertaining to talc have purposefully not been used as they are misleading and incomplete.

Understanding Talc – From Mining to Uses

Most people are familiar with the mineral talc. A naturally occurring mineral, talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate mineral (Mg3Si4O10(OH)2) composed of magnesium, silicon, hydrogen and oxygen. Mined from Earth, this “secret ingredient” is odourless, colourless and imperceptible. And because of its properties, it is highly effective for so many applications.

What is Talc?

Talc is the softest known mineral with a pearly lustre. It can be green, white, grey, brown, or colourless. It is a monoclinic mineral with a sheet structure having perfect cleavage that follows planes between the weakly bonded sheets. These sheets are held together by Van der Waals bonds allowing them to slip past one another. This gives the mineral an extremely soft, greasy and soapy feel.

The most common form of talc is seen as talcum powder where the mineral is crushed into the form of white powder. This powder has the ability to absorb moisture, oil, odours, serve as a lubricant, and produce an astringent effect on human skin. All these properties make talc an important ingredient in baby powders, foot powders, first aid powders, and a variety of cosmetics application.

Soapstone is another widely known form of talc. This soft rock can be easily carved to make sculptures, bowls, countertops, sinks, hearths, pipe bowls, and many other ornamental and practical objects.

Moreover, the talc suppliers in India say that talc’s unique properties make it an important ingredient for making ceramics, paint, paper, roofing materials, plastics, rubber, insecticides, and many other products.

Uses of Talc

Talc is an important ingredient in rubber manufacturing, paint, paper industry, and also a primary ingredient in various cosmetics. Most people use products made from talc every day; however, they don’t realize that talc is in the product or the special role that it plays.

Some of the common uses of talc are:

  • Cosmetics and Antiperspirants
  • Roofing Materials
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Paints and Coatings
  • Plastic and Rubber
  • Cordierite Ceramics
  • Polyester Putties
  • Food
  • Personal Care
  • Pharmaceuticals

Talc for Plastics

Talc is used as a filler in plastic. Talc particles have a platy shape that increases the stiffness of products like polypropylene, vinyl, polyethene, nylon, and polyester. It also reduces shrinkage and increases its heat resisting power.

Talc for Ceramics

Talc is used in the manufacturing of ceramics products such as bathroom fixtures, ceramic tile, pottery, and dinnerware. Talc improves the firing characteristics and strengthens the finished product. Therefore, it is used as a filler in ceramic manufacturing.

Talc for Paint

Talc has a unique sheen which serves to whiten and brighten the paint. Paints are made from suspensions of mineral particles in a liquid. Where the liquid portion facilitates the application process and once it evaporates, the mineral particles remain on the wall. Talc is used as an extender and filler in paints. Moreover, the softness of talc reduces abrasion damage on spray nozzles and other equipment when the paint is applied.

Talc for Paper

Here again, talk mineral serves as a filler. Paper is made of pulp from organic fibres like wood, rags, and other organic materials. The talc fills spaces between the pulp fibres when rolled into thin sheets, resulting in a paper with a much smoother writing surface. Talc also improves opacity, brightness, and whiteness of the paper and its ability to absorb ink.

Talc for Cosmetics and Antiperspirants

The smooth and fine property of talc is used as a base in many cosmetic products. The tiny platelets of the mineral powder get attached to the skin quickly and can also be washed off easily without causing skin abrasion.

As mentioned earlier, the mineral also has the ability to absorb oils and perspiration produced by human skin.

Talc for Roofing Materials

Talc property can be used to improve its resistance to the weather. Therefore, it is added to the asphaltic materials that are used to make roofing materials. When dusted on the surface of roll roofing and shingles, it prevents sticking.

Other Uses of Talc

Finely grounded talc is used as a lubricant in many applications involving high temperatures. It has a tendency to survive in high temperature where other oil-based lubricants might get destroyed. The mineral is also used as a carrier for insecticides and fungicides. It can easily be blown through a nozzle and readily sticks to the leaves and stems of plants.

How Does Talc Form?

Talc mining in India is done at a few selected locations. Talc is found in metamorphic rocks of convergent plate boundaries. It is formed from two processes.

  1. Heated water carrying dissolved magnesium and silica reacts with dolomitic marbles.
  2. Heat and active fluids alter dunite and serpentinite like rocks into talc.

Talc Mining and Processing

Talc mines in India are open-pit mines. According to the talc miners,  rocks are drilled, blasted, and partially crushed in the mining operation. These rocks are then taken to a mill, where they are further grounded finely to meets customer requirements for particle size, brightness, composition, and other properties.