Granite is a hard, coarse-grained rock that makes up a large part of every continent. Granite contains three main minerals - quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase feldspar. These minerals make granite white, pink, or light grey. Granite also contains small amounts of dark brown, dark-green, or black minerals, such as hornblende and biotite mica. The grains of the minerals in granite are large enough that they can easily be distinguished.
The minerals in granite are interlocked like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Consequently, granite is a strong and durable which makes it useful for construction.
Geologists classify granite as an igneous rock. The slow cooling and crystallization of molten material called magma forms most granite. Magma has the same chemical composition as granite. It forms from rocks that melt 16 to 25 miles (25 to 40 kilometers') below the surface of the continents. These rocks melt at temperatures between 1200' and 1650' F. (650' and 900' C). As the magma rises, it cools. Most granite magma cools slowly enough to form coarse crystals and it solidifies below the earth's surface.
Sometimes granitic magma erupts from volcanoes and cools too quickly to form large crystals. The resulting rock, called rhyolite, has the same mineral composition as granite but is fine grained.
Marble is a rock widely used in buildings, monuments, and sculptures. It consists chiefly of calcite or dolomite, or a combination of these carbonate minerals. Marble is a type of metamorphic rock formed from limestone. Marble is found in many countries, including Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, India, Italy, and Spain.
Marble is formed from limestone by heat and pressure in the earth's crust. These forces cause the limestone to change in texture and makeup. This process is called recrystallization. Fossilized materials in the limestone, along with its original carbonate minerals, recrystallise and form large, coarse grains of calcite. Impurities present in the limestone during recrystallization affect the mineral composition of the marble that forms. The minerals that result from impurities give marble wide variety of colours. The purest calcite marble is white. Marble containing hematite has a reddish colour. Marble that has limonite is yellow, and marble with serpentine is green.
Marble does not split easily into sheets of equal size and must be mined carefully. The rock may shatter if explosives are used. Blocks of marble are mined with channeling machines, which cut grooves and holes in the rock,
Uses. Marble has long been highly valued for its beauty, strength, and resistance to fire and erosion. The ancient Greeks used marble in many buildings and statues. The Italian artist Michaelangelo used marble from Carrara, Italy, in a number of sculptures.
Extremely pure calcite marble is used for most statues. Large blocks of coloured marble are, used for columns, floors, and other parts of buildings. Smaller pieces of such marble are crushed or finely ground and used as abrasives in soaps and other products. Crushed or ground marble is also used in paving roads and in manufacturing roofing materials and soil treatment products.
Travertine is limestone that has been formed over a long period of time. The product is porous with many visible holes. It is available in colours ranging from ivory to golden brown. The holes and cavities may be filled with matching portland cement, coloured epoxy, or polyester resins.
Limestone is a type of rock made up mostly of calcite, a mineral form of calcium carbonate. Most limestone is grey, but all colours of limestone from white to black have been found.
All limestone are formed when the calcium carbonate crystallises out of solution. It leaves the solution in many ways, and each way produces a different kind of limestone.
Limestone can be formed almost completely without the aid of organisms. This type of limestone is forced out of solution when the water evaporates.
Evaporation of water in limestone caverns forms another variety of limestone, called travertine, into stalactites and stalagmites.
Some limestone can be formed by the work of organisms. Many aquatic organisms draw calcium carbonate out of the water and use it to make their shells and bones. The oysters, clams, snails, corals, and sea urchins do this. When the animals die the shells and bones are broken up by waves into shell and coral sand and mud.
Limestone makes an excellent building stone because it can be carved easily. Some factories use limestone to clean waste gases and water before releasing them into the environment. Limestone is also used to make lime and to smelt iron ore.
Engineered Stone (Cultured Marble)
Also called "man-made marble", it is cast in an open-faced mold out of the prepared mixture. This mixture mainly consists of crushed and ground white quarried marble with a polyester resin, a catalyst, to help the material harden. Then desired color pigment is added. When the hardened marble product is taken off the mold it, can be buffed to high a gloss or given a satin finish.
A marble-type stone that contains high amounts of magnesium and is harder and more brittle than pure marble.
A metamorphic sandstone where the grains of quartz in sandstone become fused giving rise to a hard crystalline rock.
one is a type of rock composed mainly of sand that has been "bonded" together by pressure or by minerals. The sand commonly consists of grains of quartz, feldspar, and other minerals. It may also include organic matter or rock fragments. The minerals that cement the grains include quartz, pyrite, or calcite.
The colour of sandstone ranges from cream or grey to red, brown, or green, depending on the cements and impurities in the sand. Brownstone, reddish-brown sandstone, was once widely used to build houses. Sandstone was a common building material for larger structures before reinforced concrete came into use in the middle to late 1800's.
Bluestone is a metamorphic sandstone that comes in various colors, i.e. blue, blue/gray, brown, lilac, and green. Products include flagstone (pattern), irregular (standup), tumble, colonial (riftraft), wallstone, landscapers, steppers, mill cut treads and risers, natural treads and risers, and guillotine materials such as veneer.
Soapstone, also known as steatite, is a metamorphic rock . It tends to be a very soft rock, and is therefore easily worked into forms such as bowls, pipes, or figurines. Many Native Americans once used soapstone to make cooking vessels because of the ease in carving and the fact that it holds heat well. This occurred primarily during the Late Archaic period, between 3000 and 5000 years ago. Soapstone was a very important commodity. Soapstone pots were traded far from their origins. The manufacture and trade of soapstone objects was probably the first industry in the southeast! In many parts of the world, including Brazil, soapstone cookware is widely used because of it's unique qualities.
Soapstone has also been used for foot and bed warmers before there was central heating, and continues to be used for carving of artistic objects, fireplaces, kitchen coutertops and many other items. Some of the same outcrops have thus been quarried by people on and off for as much as 5000 years!
Please note that there are two different kinds of stone, popularly called soapstone; Talc, which is a softer stone, used for carvings, and Steatite, wich is harder than Talc, used for countertops, fireplaces, ovens and etc. Brazilian Soapstone for carving(Talc) is known to be the preferred carving stone of the Inuit(Eskimos), because of it's unique patterns, colors and softness.
Slate is a fine-grained rock that can easily be split into thin, durable sheets. It consists mainly of grains of mica and quartz, plus smaller amounts of chlorite, hematite, and other minerals. Most slate is grey to black in colour, but the rock may be red or purple, depending on its mineral content.
Slate is a metamorphic rock. Most slate is formed below the earth's surface by changes in the makeup and appearance of shale, a sedimentary rock. Shale consists of clay and fine particles of quartz. Heat from deep in the earth changes some of the clay in shale into mica and chlorite. Slate results when pressure created chiefly by mountain-forming movements in the earth's crust squeezes the mica and other minerals into parallel layers.
The building industry uses slate for roofing and flagstone because the rock is weatherproof and long lasting. Slate is also used to trim the fronts and lobbies of buildings.
A man-made stone composed of chips which are mixed with cement and then polished as an economical alternative to solid marble slabs or tiles. Care of terrazzo is identical to the care of marble.
An agate-like stone often translucent with a layered appearance. It is formed in cold mineral springs by calcite precipitation.
A rock composed primarily of hydrated magnesium silicate that is green, yellow, or brown in color; it gets its name due to the resemblance to a serpent's skin. Many so-called green marbles are actually serpentines, not marbles.
Flagstone is usually sold in two basic thicknesses, i.e. 1 and 1.5 inch thicknesses. All products are palletized with a minimum weight per pallet of 3,000 pounds. Stone is graded by color, thickness, grain, cleft, side reads and accuracy of dimensions
It is a fine-grained, massive, translucent variety of gypsum, a hydrous calcium sulfate. It is pure white or streaked with reddish brown. Alabaster, like all other forms of gypsum, forms by the evaporation of bedded deposits that are precipitated mainly from evaporating seawater. It is soft enough to be scratched with a fingernail and hence it is easily broken, soiled, and weathered. Because of its softness, alabaster is often carved for statuary and other decorative purposes. It is quarried in England and also in Italy. Vases and statuettes of Italian alabaster are sold as "Florentine marbles." The term "Oriental alabaster" is a misnomer and actually refers to marble, a calcium carbonate; whereas gypsum is a calcium sulfate.
Important sources of alabaster are Algeria, Egypt, Iran, and Mexico (from which it is exported under the name Mexican onyx); in the United States there are important sources in Utah and Arizona. Oriental alabaster (marble) was extensively used by the Egyptians in sarcophagi, in the linings of tombs, in the walls and ceilings of temples, and in vases and sacrificial vessels. The Romans worked the Algerian and Egyptian quarries and used the stone for similar purposes. In modern times it was used by Muhammad Ali for his mosque in Cairo. The French make extensive use of alabaster in interior decoration.
All natural stone that is primarily composed of silicates or silica. These stones are resistant to acid attack and are usually more difficult to polish to a high luster compared to calcite stones.
Both the size and type of aggregate have a great impact on the overall hardness of concrete. The aggregate can maie up as much as 75% of the total volume. As a general rule, larger aggregate lends to maek the concrete act harder, slowing cutting. Smaller aggregate makes the concrete act softer, allowing for faster cutting. Large aggregate can average up to 1 1/2" in diameter, while smaller aggregate can average in the range fo 3/8" in diameter. The type of stone used as aggregate also has a great impact on the hardness of minerals often used for aggregate and their relative hardness.
Aggregate is the formal name for crushed rock, for rock broken up before use. Limestone or dolomite are the most common kinds of rock crushed for aggregate. One very visible use of aggregate is for "gravel" roads, roads where layers of crushed rock provide a surface superior to that provided by soil or earth.
Each piece of aggregate comes from the rock crusher as an angular fragment. These rock fragments never quite fit together again, leaving many small gaps, or pores, between solid bits of rock. Water can drain easily through these pores, but they remain open, even when compressed by a heavy load, because of contacts between strong, difficult-to-compress, pieces of aggregate. Limestone and dolomite make the best aggregate because they are relatively soft. Sharp edges break off, leaving rounded edges in contact with your 80,000 mile tires. Soft rocks are also easier on rock crushers than hard rocks would be.
Good think limestone is appropriate for aggregate. Crushed quartzite is used for road metal. Quartzite is harder than steel, but this quartzite is brittle and it shatters into splinters in the crusher. Roads surfaced in quartzite aggregate are long lasting but hard on tires. Edges remain sharp for years and a fragment can penetrate a tire if wedged into the tread.
Russia also has few good sources of limestone or dolomite for road metal. For two centuries, this proved an advantage. Armies of Napoleon and Hitler got bogged down in muddy Russian roads. Supply lines were unreliable, cavalry and tanks immobilized, artillery left deployed in a most inefficient manner. While the U.S.A. built a network of strategic defense highways (the Interstates) and a farm-to-market system of paved roads, Russia viewed highways as potential invasion routes and allowed its surface transportation system to remain dominated by canals, rivers and railroads. Today, this lack of surface transportation infrastructure poses a serious challenge to agricultural efficiency in the former Soviet Union. Subsistence farmers might survive without good roads, but unreliable or costly transportation raise to cost and threaten the quality of food supplies.
Aggregate is even more important for paved highways than it is for gravel roads. Water is a highway's enemy. The first attempts to construct a log road through the Great Black Swamp of northwest Ohio resulted in a turnpike that continuously sank into the mud. Water-saturated soil (mud) flows under pressure. It moves to the side, not simply downward. In some places along Ohio's log road, construction crews lost count of how many logs had sunk out of sight into this apparently bottomless swamp. Freezing water is also destructive. Water expands as it freezes, making small holes larger and breaking apart the pavement.
A well-engineered highway includes ditches and a bed of aggregate to drain away the water. Pavement is supported by a thick bed of aggregate, compacted by heavy rollers so that it will not deform further by traffic, but retaining many pores through which water can escape into drainage ditches. Aggregate is also used to isolate foundations from damaging effects of expansive soils.
The main factor that determines the price of aggregate is the cost of transportation from quarry to customer. A quarry 25 miles from a job might ship 8 loads per truck per day to that job, while a quarry 50 miles away is limited to 4 loads per truck per day. Most aggregate is used within 50 miles of the quarry from which it is extracted. Loading and unloading railroad cars or barges with aggregate raise costs.
Limestone quarries impact the environment in a variety of ways. Truck traffic (noise, exhaust, dust, traffic accidents, roads damaged by heavy loads) is the most common complaint. Quarry operators usually purchase buffer strips that keep dust and noise from the quarry contained, but rock is frequently loosened by blasting. Quarry blasts, even those too light to damage nearby structures, disturb the neighbors. It is not uncommon for a quarry operator to install a temporary vibration monitor to prove that ground motions from blasts fall within permit limitations. Shots while the monitor is running tend to be only fraction the size of normal shots, but lawyers for the quarry use this technical information to silence complaints. Once the vibration monitoring contractor leaves, blasts return to their normal levels. This is difficult to prove unless a permanent seismograph station is in operation within 10 or 20 miles of the quarry.
Some limestone quarries extend below the water table. When this occurs, pumps are needed to keep equipment dry. In some cases, the limestone is low permeability and water wells are not seriously drawn down. However, some quarries have drained the water from aquifers a mile or more from the quarry. Where laws regarding groundwater ownership and theft are vague in this matter, property owners seeking restoration of their water supply face an uphill fight.
The fact that many quarries fill with water after they close shows that they are connected to groundwater aquifers (most geologists already know this, but it is frequently useful to point to evidence more obvious to the average citizen).
Limestone forms on the floor of warm tropical seas. Unlike many chemicals, calcium carbonate is less soluble in warm water than in cold water. Many mollusks and coral colonies grow shells of calcium carbonate in a crystalline form called aragonite. After these animals die, seawater dissolves some of this chemical. When CaCO3-saturated water moves from cold depths into warm shallow waters, it precipitates out of solution but in the more difficult to dissolve crystalline structure of calcite. Limestone we mine today represents deposition on the floors of prehistoric oceans. Today, thick beds of limestone and dolomite (MgCO3) are accumulating in The Bahamas and in shallow seas of the western Pacific.
Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tile is typcially on the higher range of the hardness scale although there are some differences between each type based on clay mixture, manufacturing processes and firing temperature. A common concern when cutting tile is chipping, because of the cosmetic applications for tile. For this reason, diamond blades with continuous rim, closely spaced segments or turbo segments are often a popular choice.
Porcelain Tile
Porcelain tile is a ceramic tile that is generally made by the dust pressed method from a composition which results in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tile is available in mat, unglazed or a high polished finish. Water absorption: ASTM C373. Manufactured in various thickness and sizes.
Quarry Tile
A glazed or unglazed tile made by the extrusion process from natural clay or shale. This tile is most common in the dark red shades; however, shades of brown and gray are also available.
Mexican Tile / Terracota
This tile is generally hand-made and varies in colour, texture and appearance. The tile is available in various shapes and sizes. The tile may come pre-finished or require the application of various types of sealers or coatings on site to provide a wearing surface.
Terrazzo Tile
Pre-manufactured consisting of marble or granite chips in a portland cement or epoxy matrix in various thickness' and sizes.
Agglomerate Tile
Agglomerate tiles are manufactured by mixing graded marble or granite chips of various sizes with portland cement, polyester resin or epoxy. Thickness may vary from 6mm to 20mm and may be ordered in other thicknesses to meet specifications. Approximate water absorption, 24-hour immersion, and % 0.19 ASTM D570-81 modified but will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Engineers usually specify the required compressive strength of concrete, which is normally given as the 28 day compressive strength in megapascals (MPa) or pounds per square inch (psi). Twenty eight days is a long wait to determine if desired strengths are going to be obtained, so three-day and seven-day strengths can be useful to predict the ultimate 28-day compressive strength of the concrete. A 25% strength gain between 7 and 28 days is often observed with 100% OPC (ordinary Portland cement) mixtures, and up to 40% strength gain can be realized with the inclusion of pozzolans and supplementary cementitious materials (SCM's) such as fly ash and/or slag cement. As strength gain depends on the type of mixture, its constituents, the use of standard curing, proper testing and care of cylinders in transport, etc. it becomes imperative to proactively rely on testing the fundamental properties of concrete in its fresh, plastic state.
Compression testing of a concrete cylinder Same cylinder after failure
The length of curing time after concrete is poured greatly affects the way a diamond blade will interact with it during cutting. Curing can be affected by weather (temperature, moisture and time of year) and the composition (admixtures, aggregae and sand).
Green Concrete
Concrete is typically in its green state for six to 48 hours after it is poured. In this early state, the sand has not completely bonded with the mortar and the concrete has not reached full hardness. When cutting green concrete, the snad lossens more readily, and flows more freely in the slurry, and produces much more abrasion on a diamond blade. Undercut protection is critical when cutting green concrete to prevent excessive wear on the blade core at the segment joints. Green concrete sawing is common when cutting control joints for high ways, runways driveways, industrial flooring and other new construction applications.
Cured Concrete
Cured concrete has typically set at least 48 hours. The sands has completely bonded with the mortar and the concrete has reached full hardness.
Steel Reinforcing in Concrete
The amount of rebar reinforcing on concrete is also a critical factor in determining material hardness. The more rebar - the harder the concrete acts.
Asphalt is always considered soft and abrasive. It does not cure and does not come in the range of hardness that concrete does. Even though asphalt includes aggregate, the size is consistently small and the type aggregate has little bearing on the cutting quality. Shortly after is tis rolled, asphalt is ready to be cut. The extremely abrasive nature of asphalt makes undercut protection on a diamond blade essential.
Brick & Block
Concret block tends to consistenlty have soft, abrasive qualities while brick tends to be hard and less abrasive. There are a large variety of brick types on the market, each designed and manufactured to provied certain qualities. The degree of hardness is mostly detemined by the clay mixture. Generally, brick and block are softer and more abrasive tha ceramic tile and stone.