Stone is extensively used in construction industry. Not every stone can give great results because it depends upon various factors which assign different properties to stone. Main Characteristics of a Good Building stone are following.
- Appearance & color – Uniform color, darker shades are preferred. Should be free from clay holes, bands or spots.
- Structure – Not dull in appearance, crystalline homogenous, close and fine grained is good. Stratification should not be visible.
- Weight – Heavier are compact, less porous and are good for hydraulic structures.
- Strength – Generally compressive strength is needed. Igneous rock stones are stronger.
- Hardness– Resistance to abrasion, friction and wear. Its measured on Moh’s Hardness scale.
- Toughness – Withstands impact, vibrations, moving and dead loads.
- Dressing – Uniform texture and softness for fine surface finish. Important for face work of public buildings.
- Porosity and Absorption – Exposed surface absorbs rain water which forms acids causing crumbling action. Less porous stones absorb less fluid hence are more durable.
- Seasoning – Hardening and weathering affect due to evaporation of quarry sap and formation of crystalline film. 6 to 12 months for proper seasoning is essential to make the stone worth using in construction applications.
- Weathering – Should withstand rains, frost, wind and all other extremities in weather.
- Resistance to fire – If free from calcium carbonate or oxides of iron, it will show considerable resistance to fire.
- Durability – Compact stones are more durable.
- Cost – Should have minimum cost in quarrying, transportation, dressing and installation.
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