Applications of Ilmenite

  • Application and Uses

    Titanium minerals have among the highest refractive indices of any known mineral.

    Ilmenite is used :

    • As a furnace lining in the steel industry and also as a blasting medium. After eliminating the iron particles, Ilmenite can be further processed to produce Synthetic Rutile, which can be further developed to make Titanium Dioxide.
    • Ilmenite grains are often altered to leucoxene which is a mixture of several oxide minerals. It looks like a very fine-grained light-colored or brownish coating on ilmenite grains. It is used as a protective coating for welding electrodes, in production of pigments, as filler in paints to increase whiteness and brilliance, and as a source of titanium for the production of titanium metals.
    • Ilmenite is used as a source of Titanium dioxide (TiO2), which is a non-toxic pigment with High Refractive Index or Opacity. It possesses high thermal stability and chemical inertness. TiO2 has extensive application as a premier pigment used extensively in the paint industry. About 90% of the titanium mineral produced in the world is used in the manufacture of white titanium dioxide pigment.
    • TiO2 is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and even added to foodstuffs such as flour, icing sugar and sweets as well as toothpaste to improve their brightness.
    • Titanium dioxide is used in the manufacture of many sunscreen lotions and creams because of it non-toxicity and UV absorption properties.
    • Titanium metal is also increasingly being used in making sports equipment, jewellery and for advanced engineering applications.
    • Ilmenite can withstand extreme temperatures, and is therefore used in the steel industry to line blast furnaces.
    • Ilmenite's hardness also makes it very useful as an abrasive.

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