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Quartzite is a dense and durable rock largely consisting of the mineral quartz. It has many aesthetic and practical uses, e.g. in jewellery and 'shingle' paving. These rocks are rounded (abraded) due to physical weathering, e.g. abrasion and impact through river or wave action.
Metamorphic: Formed from sandstone, where the original quartz grains recrystallise and fuse together
Source location: Westland and Southland.
Sizes: Choose from dropdown menu either Shelf specimen (300–800g), or Hand specimen (150-300g), or Small specimen (less than 150g).
Note: Images are examples of specimens only. Sizes and shapes will vary.
Quartzite has a dense and durable structure formed through the metamorphism of sandstone, where the original quartz grains recrystallise and fuse together.
Metamorphic (consisting of more than 90% quartz).
Physical properties of quartzite
- Colour: Can have various colours, including white, grey, yellow, pink, or brown, depending on impurities and mineral content.
- Lustre: Vitreous or glassy.
- Hardness: 7 on the Mohs scale, making it highly resistant to scratching and abrasion.
- Density: Ranges from 2.65 to 2.75 grams per cubic centimetre.
- Fracture: Displays a conchoidal fracture, with smooth, curved surfaces resembling the interior of a seashell.
General properties of quartzite
- Durability: Highly durable and resistant to weathering, pressure, and chemical attack.
- Heat Resistance: Exhibits excellent heat resistance, making it suitable for applications exposed to high temperatures.
- Acid Resistance: Generally resistant to acids, alkalis, and chemical weathering.
- Low Water Absorption: Low water absorption, making it resistant to staining and moisture damage.
- Non-Slip Surface: The textured surface of quartzite provides good slip resistance, making it ideal for flooring applications.
- Aesthetics: Often showcases attractive patterns, veining, and colour variations, enhancing its desirability for decorative purposes.
Uses of quartzite in New Zealand and worldwide
- Construction: Widely used in construction, including for walls, flooring, countertops, and roofing, owing to its durability and aesthetic appeal.
- Landscaping: Employed in landscaping projects for pathways, garden features, walls, and decorative purposes, adding natural beauty to outdoor spaces.
- Dimension Stone: Cut and polished into slabs or blocks, quartzite finds application in cladding, countertops, and other architectural elements.
- Railway Ballast: Serves as a crushed stone for railway ballast, providing stability and efficient drainage to railway tracks.
- Metallurgical Industry: Acts as a fluxing agent in the smelting process, aiding the removal of impurities during metal production.
- Geological Studies: Studied by geologists to understand metamorphic processes, ancient environments, and the geological history of Earth's crust.