Mica is a mineral that has been used for centuries for a range of industrial applications. The journey of mica insulation products and other industrial products from mica’s natural state is quite long. It is a naturally occurring silicate material that is found in igneous rock and metamorphic rock and occasionally sedimentary rock.
In igneous rock and metamorphic rock, it is found in the crystal form, and in sedimentary rock, it is found as small flakes. It needs to be mined from these rocks. This post will take you through the process of how mica is mined.
The Process of Mica Mining
Mica is mined using either open-pit or deep shaft mining. Read below at the brief explanation of the mining methods.
Open-pit mining method
In this mining method, mica is extracted using surface mining techniques. A deep pit is dug using the excavation machinery, and mica is extracted using hand tools. This method requires skilled labor, and extreme care is exercised in the removal to minimize damage to the crystals. It is an extremely labor-intensive process. This method is suitable when mica ores are present near the earth’s surface.
Deep shaft mining method
In this method, a shaft is pushed vertically from top to bottom to excavate the mica ores. The shaft is driven at suitable angles to ensure safe and effective mining. Small explosive charges may be used to shake the mica to free it from the host rock. Mica is drilled, handpicked, and placed in boxes for transportation.
What Happens to Mica After Extraction?
Mica is transported to mica manufacturers following the extraction process. After reaching the manufacturing facility, it is graded, split, and cut. It is graded based on different factors such as type, quality, and color. After careful gradation, it is split and cut. Skilled labor is required to facilitate the process.
All mica crystals break into distinct layers, and that is why it is also known as sheet silicates. It is a natural property of mica crystals. They form flat six-sided monoclinic crystals with a remarkable cleavage in the direction of large surfaces. This allows mica to be easily cleaved into optically flat films. When cleaved into thin films, they remain tough and elastic even at high temperatures.
Where to Buy Sheet Mica?
You can buy mica sheets from mica manufacturers and suppliers. It is very important you buy from a certified manufacturer to get the sheet mica that meets the highest international industrial standards.
Axim Mica is a certified supplier of ISO: 9001 2015 certified manufacturer and supplier of mica-based insulation materials. We have one of the largest stocks of sheet mica in North America. We manufacture a range of mica-based insulation products at our state-of-the-art, fully integrated manufacturing facility. Contact us to know more.