What is Tourmaline Used for in Industry?

Tourmaline is a semi-precious mineral that has become increasingly valued for its versatile properties and uses across various industries. Some key ways this unique mineral is utilized commercially include:

Electronics Manufacturing

Tourmaline has unique electric properties, including the ability to generate an electric charge as well as maintain electromagnetic radiation. These characteristics make tourmaline useful in the production of a range of electronics. When heated, tourmaline becomes polarized and can then attract dust and debris from production equipment. Tourmaline gemstones are therefore used during electronics manufacturing to keep equipment clean from contaminants. The mineral also has applications in electronics themselves, for example to control static in components.

Jewelry

With its striking colors and brilliance, tourmaline is a popular gemstone used in jewelry. The mineral comes in a rainbow of hues, including pink, green, blue, yellow, red, and more. Jewelers value tourmaline for its durability and hardness as well. Some of the most common uses of tourmaline in jewelry include:

  • Tourmaline gemstones set in rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings
  • Carved tourmaline figurines and pendants
  • Ornamental beads made from carved tourmaline chunks and beads
  • Layering different colored tourmaline gems together in a single piece of jewelry

The bold colors and affordability compared to other gems like emerald make tourmaline a top choice for jewelry designers and artisans.

Alternative Medicine

In alternative and Eastern medicine practices, practitioners have used tourmaline for its purported health benefits for centuries. This includes beliefs that the mineral can treat conditions like anxiety, improve sleep, enhance detoxification, and more. Today, tourmaline stones are still incorporated into practices like acupuncture, crystal healing, and acupressure. The stones may be placed on certain energy points on the body or held during meditation. Tourmaline jewelry and elixirs containing tourmaline powder are also used by believers for the mineral’s therapeutic effects. More research is still needed to determine the medical efficacy of tourmaline.

Industrial Tools

Tourmaline has a unique property of becoming electrically charged through heat and pressure. This pyroelectric quality makes it very useful for powering small electrical devices and tools. For example, when heated, tourmaline can generate an electrical charge that can be harnessed to power soldering irons. The mineral can also absorb vibrations, so it is used in machinery to reduce noise. Tourmaline’s hardness also makes it suitable for equipment components like gauges, sensors, and ball bearings that experience repetitive friction. The mineral’s endurance provides longevity in these industrial applications.

With its combination of electrical, mechanical, and optical properties, tourmaline serves many important functions across jewelry, electronics, machining, and other major industries. As more manufacturers discover its versatility, the commercial uses of this mineral will likely continue expanding. Tourmaline proves itself a valuable material upholding the operations of companies worldwide.