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Learn All About Talc


The softest mineral on earth.

What is Talc?

Talc is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in products ranging from ceramics to paper. It is also used in the manufacturing of plastics, adhesives, ink, glidant, lubricant, rubber, wastewater treatment, and polymers. Talc is a hydrated magnesium sheet silicate.

Talc is practically insoluble in water, weak acids, and alkalis. It is neither explosive nor flammable.

  • Talc is the softest mineral on earth.
  • Talc’s melting point is over 2,730 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where to Find Talc

Uses for Talc

Agriculture & Food Talc is an effective anti-caking agent, dispersing agent, and die lubricant. It, therefore, helps animal feed and fertilizer function more efficiently. In pre-mixes and agricultural chemicals, is an ideal inert carrier. Talc also is used as an anti-stick coating agent in several popular foods including chewing gum, boiled sweets, cured meats, and for rice polishing. In olive oil production, as a processing aid, it increases yield and improves the clarity of the oil.
Ceramics Talc imparts a wide range of functions to floor and wall tiles, as well as sanitaryware, tableware, refractories, and technical ceramics. In traditional building ceramics (tiles and sanitaryware), it is used as a flux, to reduce firing temperatures and cycles. In refractory applications, chlorite-rich talc is transformed into cordierite to improve thermal shock resistance. 
Coatings In interior and exterior decorative paints, talc improves hiding power and titanium dioxide (TiO2) efficiency. Talc makes paint easier to apply and improves cracking resistance and sagging. In anti-corrosion primers, talc is used to improve corrosion resistance and paint adhesion. Talc also brings benefits to inks, jointing compounds, putties, and adhesives.
Paper Talc is used in both uncoated and coated paper, where it improves printability and reduces surface friction, providing substantial improvements in paper mill and print house productivity. It also improves mattness and reduces ink scuff in offset printing. Used as pitch control agents, talc “cleans” the paper-making process by adsorbing any sticky resinous particles in the pulp. As opposed to chemical pitch-control products that pollute the process water, talc is removed together with the pulp, enabling the papermaker to operate more easily in closed-circuit operations. In specialty papers such as colored papers or labels, talc helps to improve quality and productivity.
Cosmetics & Personal Care As it is soft to the touch and inert, talc has been valued for centuries in beauty care products. Today it also plays an important role in many cosmetic products, providing the silkiness in blushes, powder compacts, and eye shadows; the transparency of foundations; and the sheen of beauty creams. In pharmaceuticals, talc is an ideal excipient, used as a glidant, lubricant, and diluent. Soap manufacturers also use talc to enhance skin care performance.
Plastics Talc imparts a variety of benefits to polypropylene, including higher stiffness and improved dimensional stability. It is used in automotive parts (under-the-hood, dashboard, bumper, interior, and exterior trim), household appliances, and white goods. In polypropylene food packaging applications, talc is a highly effective reinforcing filler.
Rubber Talc reduces the viscosity of rubber compounds, thereby facilitating the processing of molded parts. In sealants and gaskets, talc provides compression resistance. In pharmaceutical stoppers, talc creates a barrier against liquids. In cables, it functions as an insulator.
Wastewater Treatment Specialty talc can improve the performance of wastewater treatment plants. Talc is a natural, environmentally-friendly mineral additive. Talc particles act as a ballast for flocs of bacteria, accelerating sedimentation. The use of talc improves the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants offsetting costly plant expansions. Because talc is an inert mineral, it preserves the fertilizing value of sewage sludge.

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