12 Commonly Used Building Stones

Building stones are essential materials in the construction industry, each with its unique properties and applications. In this informative blog post, we will explore commonly used building stones, their properties, and their versatile uses. These stones play a vital role in various construction projects, from bridges and dams to decorative features and flooring. Let’s delve into the world of building stones and uncover their significance in construction.

Commonly Used Building Stones

1. Granite

Origin: Granite is an igneous rock formed deep within the Earth’s crust through the solidification of magma.

Properties:

  • Hardness: Granite is renowned for its hardness and durability.
  • Color Variety: Available in a range of colors, with variations based on the amount of feldspar.
  • Compressive Strength: Impressive compressive strength of 75 to 130 MPa.
  • Specific Gravity: Ranges from 2.63 to 2.75.
  • Density: Approximately 26 to 27 KN/m³.

Uses:

  • Large engineering projects: Bridge abutments, dams, offshore structures.
  • Architectural elements: Steps, walls, flooring, and more.

2. Basalt and Trap

Origin: Basalt and trap, also igneous rocks, are known for their toughness.

Properties:

  • Hardness: Exceptionally hard, making them challenging to work with.
  • Compressive Strength: High, ranging from 150 to 190 MPa.
  • Specific Gravity: Varies from 2.6 to 3.0.

Uses:

  • Railway ballast.
  • Concrete aggregate.
  • Decorative features in structures.

3. Syenite

Origin: Syenite, another igneous rock, boasts hardness and durability similar to granite.

Properties:

  • Crushing Strength: Ranges from 90 to 150 MPa.
  • Colors: Typically light in color.

Uses:

  • Aggregate in pavement construction and concrete making.
  • External facings of building walls.

4. Limestone

Origin: Limestone belongs to sedimentary rocks, formed by the deposition of weathered particles.

Properties:

  • Composition: Rich in calcium carbonate.
  • Softness: Easily workable.
  • Compressive Strength: About 55 MPa.
  • Specific Gravity: 2.0 to 2.75.

Uses:

  • Lime and cement manufacturing.
  • Flooring, roofing, and more.

5. Chalk

Origin: Chalk is a sedimentary rock containing pure lime, known for its softness.

Properties:

  • Easily powdered.
  • Porous structure.
  • Typically white in color.

Uses:

  • Manufacturing lime putty.
  • Pigment in Portland cement.

6. Sandstone

Origin: Sandstone, a sedimentary rock, contains minerals like quartz, feldspar, and silica.

Properties:

  • Hardness varies based on mineral proportions.
  • Easily workable.
  • Available in various colors.
  • Compressive Strength: About 65 MPa.
  • Specific Gravity: 2.65 to 2.95.

Uses:

  • Roofing material.
  • Paving material.
  • Columns, facing works, and ornamental carvings.

7. Caliche

Origin: Caliche, a sedimentary rock, is an impure form of limestone with a porous structure.

Properties:

  • Porous and irregular in shape.
  • Varies in hardness from soft to hard.

Uses:

  • Aggregate in pavement construction.
  • Preparation of hydraulic lime.

8. Marble

Origin: Marble belongs to the metamorphic rock category, formed from limestone under high heat and pressure.

Properties:

  • Hard and compact.
  • Available in various colors.
  • Takes a good polish.
  • Compressive Strength: About 70 MPa.
  • Specific Gravity: 2.65.

Uses:

  • Flooring, facing works, steps, and decorative structures.

9. Slate

Origin: Slate, another metamorphic rock, results from the metamorphism of shale under specific conditions.

Properties:

  • Hard and brittle.
  • Foliated texture, often black.
  • Compressive Strength: 75 to 210 MPa.
  • Specific Gravity: 2.89.

Uses:

10. Quartzite

Origin: Quartzite, a metamorphic rock, forms from sandstone under high pressure and temperature.

Properties:

  • Crystalline structure with a granular texture.
  • Hard and brittle.
  • Compressive Strength: About 115 MPa.

Uses:

  • Road and concrete aggregate.
  • Retaining walls, rubble masonry, and stone pitching.

11. Laterite

Origin: Laterite, also metamorphic, is porous and spongy in structure.

Properties:

  • Soft and workable.
  • Low crushing strength (1.8 to 3.0 MPa).

Uses:

  • Rough stone masonry.
  • Pavement construction.

12. Gneiss

Origin: Gneiss, a metamorphic rock formed from granite, features a foliated structure.

Properties:

  • Strong and durable.
  • Crushing Strength: 206 MPa to 370 MPa.
  • Specific Gravity: 2.69.

Uses:

  • Pavement construction.
  • Rough stone masonry and stone pitching.

With this comprehensive guide to commonly used building stones, you can appreciate their significance in the construction industry. These diverse stones provide the foundation for the structures we rely on every day, showcasing the remarkable geological diversity found beneath our feet.

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