Building stones are the naturally occurring massive, dense rock which can be cut or shaped into blocks or slabs for use in wall, paving, roofing materials or other construction works. They have been used as building material since very early period of our civilization. Be it igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary, a building stone is chosen for its use, durability, attractiveness, economy or other properties as desired. Some of the common building stones are Granite, Basalt, Slate, Gneiss, etc. which are discussed below:
Stone is an essential and more permanent building material in construction than other natural building materials. Based on the type, stones can be used in buildings for flooring, roofing, masonry, paving roads and also as aggregates for concrete. Most of the prehistoric monuments are built with natural stones as they remain stable with time. Before the advent of concrete, stones were highly preferred for heavy engineering works like bridge piers, harbor walls, seaside walls, and for facing works.
Stones for construction purposes are obtained by quarrying from solid massive rocks. The stones used for masonry construction should be hard, durable, tough, and should be free from weathered soft patches of material, cracks, and other defects that are responsible for the reduction of strength and durability.
Based on Geology, stones or rocks are classified into three types:
Some of the common types of Igneous Rocks which are used for different purposes are as follows:
It is a deep-seated igneous rock, which is hard, durable and available in various colors. It has a high value of crushing strength and is capable of bearing high weathering. Granite is used for bridge components, retaining walls, stone columns, road metal, ballast for railways, foundation, stonework and for coarse aggregates in concrete. Granite Stones can also be cut into slabs and polished to be used as floor slabs and stone facing slabs.
They are originated from igneous rocks in the absence of pressure by the rapid cooling of the magma. They have the same uses as granite.
Some of the common types of Sedimentary Rocks which are used for different purposes are as follows:
It is a sedimentary rock formed by remnants of seaweeds and living organisms consolidated and cemented together. It contains a high percentage of calcium carbonate. Limestone is used for flooring, roofing, and pavements and also as a base material for cement.
This stone is another form of sedimentary rock formed by the action of mechanical sediments. It has a sandy structure which is low in strength and easy to dress. They are used for ornamental works, paving and as road metal.
It can be recognized by its elongated platy minerals usually mixed with mica and used in the same way as granite. They can be used for flooring, pavement and not for major purposes because of its weakness.
Some of the common types of Metamorphic Rocks which are used for different purposes are as follows:
It is a metamorphic rock which can be easily cut and carved into different shapes. It is used for ornamental purposes, stone facing slabs, flooring, facing works etc.
It is a metamorphic rock which can be split easily and available in black color. It is used for damp-proofing flooring and roofing.
It is a metamorphic rock which is hard, brittle, crystalline and durable. It is difficult to work with and used in the same way as granite but not recommended for ornamental works as it is brittle.
It is decomposed from igneous rocks; occur in soft and hard varieties. It contains a high percentage of iron oxide and can be easily cut into blocks. The soft variety is used for walls after curing while the hard blocks are used for paving the pathways.
These stones are used for various purposes. Some of the applications are as bellows:
Fine-grained granite and gneiss stones are used for Heavy engineering works such as building bridge piers, breakwaters, monuments, etc.
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