Abstract

Carbonate-bearing ceramic bodies are frequently used in the manufacture of bricks, roofing tiles, wall and floor tiles, pottery and tableware. During the firing of these bodies, clinopyroxene is usually formed in very small crystals, 1-5 mu m in diameter or less. In the literature this phase is generally referred to as diopside, but no quantitative data are available. In order to chemically characterize these "ceramic" pyroxenes, nine industrial products were analysed by XRF and XRD (bulk sample) and SEM-EDS (fracture surface). Quantitative ZAF analyses of pyroxene crystals showed a certain chemical variability: SiO 2 35-50%, Al 2 O 3 9-20%, Fe 2 O 3 1-15%, MgO 3-14%, and CaO 16-25%. Sodium, K and Ti are always <1%, while ferrous iron is always <0.2% in the bulk sample. Overall, "ceramic" clinopyroxenes present wide chemical analogies with "fassaite", e.g. the abundance of aluminium and ferric iron, and the excess of wollastonite molecules with respect to the diopside-hedenbergite series.

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