Zeolites are aluminosilicate minerals consisting of periodic arrangement of TO4 tetrahedral units, where T is an aluminum or silicon cation and O is an oxygen anion. A vast zeolite frameworks can be thought to exist of composite building units, such as truncated octahedra, prisms, etc, which again are made up of vertex-linked tetrahedra with oxygen anions located at vertices. In previous Bridges conferences, we have demonstrated that the bead-chain construction set can be employed to build the sphere packing sculptures of a few tetravalent frameworks such as diamond and sodalite, which can be considered as the space filling tessellation of truncated octahedra, through suitable 3D weaving processes.
Zeolite A, also known as LTA, can be viewed as a space filling tessellation of cubes, truncated octahedra, and truncated cuboctahedra, also known as the cantitruncated cubic honeycomb. Here, a novel 3D weaving method is used to build the sphere packing models that contains eight unit cells (2x2x2) of Zeolite A using carefully chosen bead chains with two different lengths. Each chain comprises a chain of beads held by a pre-stressed elastic string. Spherical beads in these models represent oxygen anions; while smaller cations hidden inside the tetrahedra are not shown.