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Rutile

Rutile

Release time:23 August 2019
Rutile

Type
Mineral

Mineral Classification
Oxide

Chemical Formula
TiO2

Streak
Bright red to dark red

Mohs Hardness
6.0 – 6.5

Crystal System
Tetragonal ditetragonal dipyramidal

Color
Reddish brown, red, pale yellow, pale blue, violet, rarely grass-green, or black

Luster
Adamantine to submetallic

Fracture
Uneven to sub-conchoidal

Description

Rutile is the most common and stable form of titanium dioxide found in nature. It forms under high pressure and high temperature in igneous and metamorphic rocks. It is a key ingredient in paint and also a useful component in optical equipment.

Relation to Mining

Rutile is recovered through surface mining and dredging of dense beach sands.

Uses

Because it has a very high index of refraction, rutile is used for many purposes in optics, a vast majority of which come from synthetic rutile, which was first produced in 1948. As a source of titanium dioxide pigment, rutile is used in plastics, paper products, paints, sunscreen, and even food coloring.  Certain welding equipment also uses it.

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