Crystalline Silica

Definition - What does Crystalline Silica mean?

Crystalline silica refers to a widespread naturally occurring mineral found in the earth's crust. It is located in materials such as sand, stone and concrete. As such, it may be a source of concrete corrosion and may be hazardous if inhaled in excessive quantities.

Corrosionpedia explains Crystalline Silica

Crystalline silica is known as a significantly hazardous material in the construction industry. During construction activities such as drilling, concrete mixing, block cutting and abrasive sandblasting, airborne crystalline silica particles may find their way into the respiratory tract of workers in the vicinity and cause major health problems (e.g., silicosis) and even death. Adequate care and protective measures such as personal protective equipment must be in place to counteract this.

In addition, the presence of crystalline silica in concrete and other construction materials may cause corrosion. Concrete corrosion refers to a type of corrosion that is characterized by the chemical or physicochemical deterioration of solid concrete structures due to attack by reactive liquids and gases. It causes major damage to critical sewage pipelines and other critical assets made of concrete. Coatings and films may be used to combat this type of corrosion.

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