FELDSPAR comprises a group of minerals containing potassium, sodium, calcium and aluminium silicates. They are the most common rock-forming minerals. The common feldspar is potassium feldspar, namely, orthoclase (K2O, Al2O3, 6SiO2). Sodium feldspar is albite (Na2O, Al2O3, 6SiO2) and calcium feldspar is anorthite (CaO, Al2O3, 2SiO2). A variety of crossed, hatched, twinned orthoclase (to be seen under the petrological microscope only) is called microcline. Sodium and calcium feldspars form an somorphous mixture known as plagioclase feldspars.
The commercial feldspar is orthoclase. The potassium molecule is replaced by sodium to some extent and hence, orthoclase feldspar usually contains a small percentage of sodium. The composition range of the commercial feldspar varies within the limits of potash, soda and upto oligoclase.
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