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What is Garnet?

02/05/2018

Garnet is the general name given to a group of complex silicate minerals, all with isometric crystal structure and similar properties and chemical composition. The general chemical formula for garnet minerals is A3B2 (SiO4)3 , where A can be calcium, ferrous iron, magnesium, or manganese, and B can be aluminum, chromium, ferric iron, or rarely, titanium. The most common garnet minerals are classified into three groups-the aluminum-garnet group, the chromium-garnet group, and the iron-garnet group. The most common minerals of the aluminum-garnet group are almandine, grossular, pyrope, and spessartine. Uvarovite is the most common chromium garnet, and andradite is the most common irongarnet mineral. Garnet occurs worldwide in many rock types, principally gneisses and schists; other sources include contact metamorphic rocks, metamorphosed crystalline limestones, pegmatites, and serpentinites. Alluvial garnet is associated with heavy-mineral sand and gravel deposits in many parts of the world. Occurrences of garnet are numerous, but relatively few commercially viable garnet deposits have been identified. Garnet has many industrial applications because of its angular fractures, relatively high hardness and specific gravity, chemical inertness, nontoxicity, lack of crystalline silica, and ability to be recycled. The primary industrial applications include water-jet cutting, abrasive blasting media, water filtration, and abrasive powders.

 

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