AskDefine | Define allophane

Extensive Definition

Allophane is an amorphous hydrous aluminium silicate clay mineral. Its chemical formula is Al2O3·(SiO2)1.3-2·2.5-3(H2O). Although it has a variable composition and although generally amorphous in structure, it has long been recognized as a mineral and can be identified by its distinctive X-ray diffraction pattern. It was first described in 1816 in Gräfenthal, Thuringia, Germany. Allophane is a weathering or hydrothermal alteration product of feldspars and other primary minerals and has a composition similar to kaolinite. A copper containing variety cupro-allophane has been reported.
It forms waxy botryoidal to crusty masses with color varying from white through green, blue, yellow, to brown. It has a Mohs hardness of 3 and a specific gravity of 1.0.
It was named from the Greek allos - "other" and phanos - "to appear", as it gave a deceptive reaction in the blowpipe flame in old mineralogical testing.
allophane in Catalan: Al·lofana
allophane in French: Allophane
allophane in Italian: Allofane
allophane in Latvian: Alofans
allophane in Dutch: Allofaan
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