What is Mica ?
Mica is a silicate mineral that is mined from the earth. Mica can be processed into very thin sheets relatively easily because of it’s chemical structure. It looks like a lump of dirty quartz crystal when mined.
How is it processed ?
When it is being processed it is split through it’s lamination’s into sheets as you would slice a potato.
The first usable sheets of mica are made in to the 1″ x whatever size sheets and so on until the middle which is the maximum size that the rock will yield eg: 3″ x 4″
What is the thickness of your mica sheets ?
The Thickness of our mica sheets is between: 0.004 / 0.006”, but if you need the mica for a different application you can slice it down to your desired thickness with a scalpel.
Why do the prices for the larger panels seem disproportionate ?
Rocks of mica are seldom found in large pieces, imagine the value of a hundred little diamonds and one the size of your fist, and it may make sense. Add to that, as they process through the rock there are masses of areas that aren’t transparent and also sheets with bad blemishes and discolouration etc that is running through the mica, and is only suitable for electrical mica. ( mica is one of the only things that can take extreme temperature and is a non conductor, what else could you use in a metal clothes iron! )
Once they have graded the mica for stove quality the pile of 8″ x 8″ sheets are looking pretty small, compared to the 3″ x 3″ s.
How do I know if it’s mica I need ?
Mica sheets are transparent, and when old and well used, they are sometimes yellowy in colour and opaque and can start to de-laminate, but the best way of telling if it’s mica or not, is to see if it’s flexible, one of the best advantages of mica is that it will bend to fit bowed wood burner doors or lanterns etc. Most stove makers stopped using mica with the introduction of ceramic heat resistant glass, since then nearly all stove doors are now flat, as curved glass would cost a fortune to produce.