1.3. What are the main uses of silica?
The various uses of silica are described in the “Applications” chapter of this website.
Crystalline silica is an essential component of materials which have an abundance of uses in industry and are a vital component in many things used in our everyday lives. It is impossible to imagine houses without bricks, mortar or windows, cars without engines or windscreens, life without roads or other transport infrastructures and everyday items made of glass or pottery.
Industrial silica is used in a vast array of industries, the main ones being the glass, foundries, construction, ceramics, and the chemical industry. Silica in its finest form is also used as functional filler for paints, plastics, rubber, and silica sand is used in water filtration and agriculture.
Other examples of everyday uses include the construction and maintenance of an extensive range of sports and leisure facilities. Crystalline silica is also irreplaceable in a series of high-tech applications, for example in optical data transmission fibres and precision casting. It is also used in the metallurgical industry as the raw material for silicon metal and ferrosilicon production. Another specialized application is in the oil extraction. Altogether there are hundreds of applications of industrial silica in our daily life. Silica products have become so obvious to us that we don’t even know they are being applied.