I went to the vacation rentals to check on things, and our managers were
using a different type of salt than we normally use. We have been using
regular coarse sea salt for years. They were using salt pellets the
size of rabbit poop. I do know there are some brands out there which
use potassium, and are more expensive, and are for special treatment
systems. They said they called the company, and the company said that
the pellet type was fine. They also said that the pellets were cheaper.
Upon returning home, we bought some salt for our house, and the coarse
was $.60 per bag cheaper. Maybe it was where they shopped.
Is there any difference in the PURE SALT CRYSTALS AND PURE SALT PELLETS?
Or can one use them interchangeably, and why make them if they are the
Sodium chloride is sodium chloride, crystal size doesn't change the
chemistry. Doesn't change the crystallography either which is isometric;
all salt crystals are little cubes, whack them with a hammer and you get
smaller cubes all the way down to the molecular level.
The salt pellets may just be small crystals stuck together. Why make them?
Don't know but it takes a while for crystals to form...more time = bigger
crystals; stick a lot of little crystals together into pellets and you have
a product faster.
You've got the understanding right, but the terminology wrong. Crystals
that have atoms at all 8 corners of a cube and that same pattern is
repeated over and over again throughout the whole crystal are said to
have a "simple cubic" crystalline structure.
'File:Sodium-chloride-3D-ionic.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia'
There are also "body centered cubic" and "face centered cubic"
crystalline structures which have an atom at all 8 corners of a cube
PLUS an atom in the center of the cube, OR, PLUS an atom in the middle
of each of the 6 faces of the cube. Because the atoms touch each other,
simple cubic, body centered cubic and face centered cubic crystals are
of different size.
Many metals are made of face centered or body centered cubic "crystals"
although most people wouldn't think of metals as being crystalline in
structure. In fact, they are. The way to imagine a metal is to imagine
what happens when a cluster of towns all grow and merge together into
one big city. Within each town, the streets and avenues are
perpendicular to one another. But, where the towns meet (at the crystal
boundaries) the streets and avenues will change direction, stop
altogether or do a "dog leg" and continue on in a new direction. If you
imagine this same thing happening in 3 dimensions instead of just two
dimensions, you understand why metals actually have a crystalline
If a metal cools from a molten liquid, crystals start growing at various
locations in the metal. As these crystals grow and encounter each
other, you will have a bit of chaos at the crystal boundaries, but a
well organized and repeating pattern within each crystal. It's the
crystal boundaries where the metal is the weakest, so that if we could
grow a single HUGE crystal of metal atoms, it would be much stronger
than if that metal were to solidify from a molten liquid in the usual
> smaller cubes all the way down to the molecular level.
I know you know what you mean, but you're making it sound like if you
smack one crystalline cube of sodium chloride with a baseball bat,
you'll get two, three or four smaller cubes, and that's not true. If
you smack a hunk of salt, it'll break into some arbitrarily shaped
pieces, but each piece will be made up of gazillions of individual cubic
crystals just like the original crystal.
Imagine if you made a 1:1 scale model city bus out of Lego blocks and
smashed into it with a real car. The resulting pieces of the bus would
be arbitrary in shape, but they'd still be made of the same shape Lego
So, the salt rocks you buy for a water softener may be arbitrary in
shape, but at the atomic level, all of the atoms are arranged in a cubic
pattern as dadiOH says.
And, yes, you can have materials that consist of molecules (not just
atoms) arranged in a consistant repeating pattern, and therefore
"crystalline" in structure.
Ya gotta know this stuff to be king.
Most are, but a class of new metals aren't, at least in their "end state"
(as a result of mechanical manipulation, usually). Not a knock against you,
Nestor, just a point of information I am aware of because dad was a
materials science engineer who worked primarily with titanium for the USN.
IIRC, the materials showed a lot of promise in the area of resistance to
EMP's (electromagnetic pulses) that could be used to decimate the
electronics and avionic of an adversary. Not sure if the research ever was
applied in practice. I know the use of amorphous metal to build subs was
abandoned because of fabrication issues although IIRC there were some small
deep diving submersibles that were made using MG or similar techniques.
<<An amorphous metal (also known metallic glass or glassy metal) is a solid
metallic material, usually an alloy, with a disordered atomic-scale
structure. Most metals are crystalline in their solid state, which means
they have a highly ordered arrangement of atoms. Amorphous metals are
non-crystalline, and have a glass-like structure. But unlike common glasses,
such as window-glass, which are typically insulators, amorphous metals have
good electrical conductivity. There are several ways in which amorphous
metals can be produced, including extremely rapid cooling, physical vapor
deposition, solid-state reaction, ion irradiation, and mechanical alloying.
In the past, small batches of amorphous metals have been produced through a
variety of quick-cooling methods. For instance, amorphous metal wires have
been produced by sputtering molten metal onto a spinning metal disk (melt
spinning). The rapid cooling, on the order of millions of degrees a second,
is too fast for crystals to form and the material is "locked" in a glassy
state. More recently a number of alloys with critical cooling rates low
enough to allow formation of amorphous structure in thick layers (over 1
millimeter) had been produced; these are known as bulk metallic glasses
(BMG). Liquidmetal sells a number of titanium-based BMGs, developed in
studies originally carried out at Caltech. More recently, batches of
amorphous steel have been produced that demonstrate strengths much greater
than conventional steel alloys.>>
Some of you might even own items fabricated from these substances:
<<The ability to be cast and molded, combined with high wear resistance, has
also led to Liquidmetal being used as a replacement for plastics in some
applications. It has been used on the casing of late-model SanDisk "Cruzer
Titanium" USB flash drives as well as their Sansa line of flash-based MP3
player, and casings of some mobile phones, like the luxury Vertu products,
and other toughened consumer electronics. Liquidmetal has also notably been
used for making the SIM ejector tool of some iPhone 3Gs made by Apple Inc.,
shipped in the US.>>
I also believe that MG's are being used now in nanotechnology but am too
lazy to look it up!
Normally salt is mined, and the coarse salt you buy in hardware stores
comes from those mines. And, you can often find that it's not pure
white like table salt, but has impurities in it.
But, NaCl is also a byproduct of manufacturing other chemicals, and I
expect that's probably where the pellets come from.
My own thinking is that the pellets would probably be purer NaCl than
the stuff that comes from salt mines.
Generally true but much depends upon which mine and how the salt was
deposited (evaporation vs pushed up dome, eg).
Some mines have relatively thin beds of salt interspersed with other
deposits (silt, sand, other minerals) but others have very thick layers of
pure salt. However, even salt from those thick bed mines could pick up
other stuff along the way.
True. Here's what I found about pellets...
"Pellet salt is a higher purity salt than solar salt. It comes in an
oval/egg like shape. It reduces the chance that bridging will occur in your
brine tank and is typically used in applications that require higher purity
such as hospitals, food plants, and various other applications. We deliver
pellet salt in 50 lb. plastic bags. Pellet salt typically has a purity of
99.87%. It is vacuum pan salt produced by industry standard solution mining
and evaporation process. The salt is washed, filtered, dried, screened,
pressed into pellets, admixed, and quality control tested. "
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.