Silica has played a continuous part in man's development and been one of the basic raw materials supporting the industrial revolution (as refractory, flux, and moulding sand) and today's information technology revolution (providing the raw material for silicon chips).
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 production.
Altogether there are several 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. Reading this page, you will be surprised to find out how many times per day you see, touch and use products containing crystalline silica.
This led a socio-economic survey of crystalline silica usage to conclude that “if man wishes to live in silica free environment he must move to another planet“(B. Coope, 1998).