Bradley, William F. Formerly, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
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A complex hydrated magnesium silicate mineral named for its resemblance to cuttlefish bone, alternately named meerschaum (sea foam). The ideal composition, Mg8(H2O)4(OH)4Si12O30, is modified by some additional water of hydration, but is otherwise quite representative. The ideal density, 2.26 g/cm3 (1.31 oz/in.3), is never realized in aggregates. Interlaced disoriented fibers aggregate into a massive stone so porous that it floats on water. These stones are easily carved, take a high polish with wax, and harden when warmed. They have been valued from antiquity in the eastern Mediterranean region for ornaments and make attractive smoking pipes.
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