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Monday, March 27, 2023

Evaluating the hardness of minerals – Compound Curiosity

Infographic on the Mohs Mineral Hardness Scale. The graphic shows the scale, which runs from 0-10, and also highlights a number of minerals with their point on the scale. Key reference minerals for each point on the scale are also shown: 1 = talc, 2 = gypsum, 3 = calcite, 4 = fluorite, 5 = apatite, 6 = feldspar, 7 = quartz, 8 = topaz, 9 = corundum, 10 = diamond.
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Diamond is usually identified to be the toughest materials, however how do different minerals evaluate with one another? That’s the query the Mohs hardness scale, launched by Friedrich Mohs in 1812, goals to reply. This graphic seems at his scale and the place totally different minerals and different substances seem on it.

Mohs’ scale is an easy method of evaluating the hardness of various minerals. The size is constructed on comparisons — a mineral that scratches one other is designated as having a better worth for hardness. These values are primarily a large rating system, in that they’re all relative. There’s no fastened worth of hardness between the totally different numbers within the scale — in actual fact, diamond at 10 is a number of instances tougher than corundum at 9, however corundum is just round twice as exhausting as topaz at 8.

You’d be forgiven for questioning, given this variability between factors on the size, what its use is. It’s significantly helpful for geologists within the discipline who can use identified reference supplies or minerals to scratch unknown minerals and estimate the place on the size they sit, aiding their identification.

A number of the extra objects I’ve included on the size within the graphic are related to the reference supplies geologists might use — for instance, fingernails, copper cash, metal knives, and ceramic streak plates. I’ve additionally included another non-mineral substances on the size for reference, similar to some frequent metals and another supplies famous for his or her excessive hardness, like tungsten carbide.

Is diamond actually the toughest materials identified? When it comes to naturally-occurring substances, the reply seems to be sure, although lab-grown supplies are offering potential challengers, as this text summarises.

I’ll end by concluding that I’m not a geologist, and this isn’t meant to be a complete chart — there are numerous extra minerals on the market than it was attainable to incorporate on it! Nonetheless, I’ve tried to incorporate a consultant unfold of minerals. Shout within the feedback for those who’ve famous any obvious omissions!

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