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The name steatite is used for two related concepts:

1. A type of soapstone which is almost purely talc.

2. A type of ceramic material made from soapstone with minor additives and heated to vitrify. It is often used as an insulator or housing for electrical components, due to its durability and electrical characteristics and since it can be pressed into complex shapes before firing. It has been produced for thousands of years, e.g., for beads and seals in ancient civilisations.

See also: List of minerals