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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Wollastonite is a naturally occurring mineral, which provides strength and improved performance for plastics, coating, friction, refractory, construction, elastomer, and sealant applications. Due to the high quality and acicular structure of NYCO’s ores, a broad range of high aspect-ratio and powder wollastonite grades are produced.
  • Wollastonite is a calcium inosilicate mineral (CaSiO3) that may contain small amounts of iron, magnesium, and manganese substituting for calcium. It is usually white. It forms when impure limestone or dolostone is subjected to high temperature and pressure sometimes in the presence of silica-bearing fluids as in skarns or contact metamorphic rocks. Calc-silicate rock with wollastonite (white), grossular + vesuvianite (reddisch), diopside (grey-green). Greyish mass (left) replacing red and green material is calcite + tremolite.

Manufacturing Technology

  • One of the most unusual things about wollastonite is that it can be made to cleave into needle-like crystals. Using special processing techniques, very fine fibers with an extremely high aspect-ratio (length:diameter) can be produced. The aspect ratio of these specially ground particles is commonly between 5:1 and 15:1 and may be more than 20:1 depending on the milling technique. NYCO produces a variety of high aspect-ratio (HAR) grades to suit a variety of applications.
  • A 10-micron wollastonite has an oil absorption of about 30, whereas mica measures approximately 70. Consequently, wollastonite can be used in high-solids systems, where obtaining low viscosity and low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are crucial.The “SILEN-wollastonite” deposition method may be used for repairing various lined chambers, furnaces, heat-generating units, for protecting all metal constructions from fire.

Applications

  • In plastics, wollastonite improves the durability of the composite due to its acicular or needle-like structure. Wollastonite has found application as a substitute for asbestos in fire-resistant building products used in the construction industry. In metallurgical applications, wollastonite is used due to its low water solubility, low loss on ignition and its Ca–Si ratio.
  •  Wollastonite can be used in a variety of ceramic applications including ceramic glazes and bodies, enamels, frits, fluxes and in sanitaryware. Due to its physical structure and non-hazardous properties, wollastonite is used as a reinforcing additive in many friction applications. Wollastonite also used in adhesives, friction products (brakes and clutches), joint compounds, metallurgical applications, refractories, and wallboard.

Market & Report

  • The two largest producing wollastonite deposits in the world are both located in upstate New York flanking the Adirondack Mountains. Canada, is a more recent discovery of wollastonite in a geologic setting similar to that of the New York deposits. Drilling by the Cominco/Platinova joint venture has defined total ore reserves exceeding 0.9 Mt (1 million st) in two separate deposits grading from 39 to 47% wollastonite
  • The only other deposits which have been mined for wollastonite in the United States are in California. A small amount has been mined from a deposit in Kern County where Paleozoic limy sediments have been intruded by Mesozoic granitic rocks where the wollastonite is associated with diopside and garnet.
  • While wollastonite production from North America dominates the world market, a significant and increasing share of production comes from Europe and Asia, specifically Finland, India, and China. Future prospects for the wollastonite market appear to be very good with a great deal of healthy investment being concentrated on the long-fibre market.

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