soapstone

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Related to Alumen plumosum: Lapis Ollaris, Soap stone

soapstone

or

steatite

(stē`ətīt), metamorphic rock of which the characteristic and usually chief mineral is talctalc,
mineral ranging in color from white through various shades of gray and green to the red and brown of impure specimens, translucent to opaque, and having a greasy, soapy feel.
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, but which also contains varying parts of chlorite, mica, tremolite, quartz, magnetite, and iron compounds. It is gray to green in color, has a soapy feel, and is notable for its high degree of resistance to acids and heat. It is so soft that it can be easily cut with a knife or other sharp tool, making it a popular material for sculpting. The chief deposits of commercial importance are in the United States, Norway, and Canada. It is used in the manufacture of laboratory table tops, kitchen sinks, laundry tubs, furnace linings, and electrical apparatus.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Soapstone

 

a dense, dark greenish-gray rock, consisting basically of an aggregate of tiny flakes of talc and chlorite. Dolomite, magnesite, and other magnesium-calcium carbonates are also commonly found in soapstone. It can easily be cut with a knife and is formed as a result of metamorphosis and hydrochemical transformation of ultrabasic serpentine rock, diabases, and magnesian schists. Soapstone is used in the manufacture of dishes, pots, and jugs in Iran, Turkey, India, and Afghanistan. It has technological applications as a heat-resistant material. In the USSR deposits of soapstone are found in the Karelian ASSR and in the Urals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

soapstone

[′sōp‚stōn]
(mineralogy)
A mineral name applied to steatite or to massive talc. Also known as soaprock.
(petrology)
A metamorphic rock characterized by massive, schistose, or interlaced fibrous texture and a soft unctuous feel.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

soapstone

Massive soft rock that contains a high proportion of talc; used as dimension stone for laboratory sinks, bench tops, carved ornaments, and electrical panels. Also see steatite.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

soapstone

a massive compact soft variety of talc, used for making tabletops, hearths, ornaments, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005