National Minerals Information Center

Talc and Pyrophyllite Statistics and Information

The mineral talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate.   A massive talcose rock is called steatite, and an impure massive variety is known as soapstone.  Talc is used commercially because of its fragrance retention, luster, purity, softness, and whiteness.  Other commercially important properties of talc are its chemical inertness, high dielectric strength, high thermal conductivity, low electrical conductivity, and oil and grease adsorption.  Major markets for talc are ceramics, paint, paper, and plastics.

Pyrophyllite is a hydrous aluminum silicate with a structure similar to talc.  Such properties as chemical inertness, high dielectric strength, high melting point, and low electrical conductivity make it useful for ceramic and refractory applications.

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Wallace Bolen

Mineral Commodity Specialist
National Minerals Information Center
Phone: 703-648-7727