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 recrystallisation. Fossilised materials in the limestone, along with its original carbonate minerals, recrystallise and form large, coarse grains of calcite. Impurities present in the limestone during recrystallisation affect the mineral composition of the marble that forms. The minerals that result from impurities give marble a wide variety of colours. The purest calcite marble is white. Marble containing hematite has a reddish colour. A 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 channelling 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 Michelangelo 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.
Be sure to have these stonemason polishing tools for your next work.
Marble is a metamorphic rock produced from limestone by pressure and heat in the earth crust due to geological processes. The pressures and temperatures essential to produce this stone generally eliminate any fossils that exist in the initial rock. Due to these forces, the texture of limestone is changed. Impurities in the limestone affect the marble mineral composition.
Marble is available in various colours due to the variety of minerals present in the marble-like clay, sand, and silt. It is widely utilised as a building material, in monuments and sculptures, and numerous other applications. Marbles are suitable for internal and external applications. However, due to modern-day environmental pollution, the polish on marble used for external applications may not be durable.
Characteristics Of Marbles
Marble is a stone with a firm crystalline structure and slight porosity. Due to its structure, marble can be polished to improve its shine and is thus a common and attractive stone for building applications. The restricted marble porosity, mainly when refined, makes it less susceptible to water damage. However, calcium carbonate, the main ingredient of marble, is exceedingly susceptible to acidic agents: it rapidly dissolves in some acids. The actual influence of acidic contact will vary with the kind of acid: chlorides, sulphates, and other chemical compounds respond in different ways with marble. Byproducts are created that possess a wide range of solubility and influence on the durability of marble. Therefore, it is essential to ascertain the exact kind of pollutants that cause marble deterioration.
Weather Effects On Marble
The forces of nature may produce a decaying effect on the look and structural reliability of marble. These agents include temperature, snow, rain, wind and atmospheric pollutants. Weathering agents normally act in combination with the other agents to increase the deterioration of marble. Rainwater, particularly in combination with the atmospheric gases, may cause the dissolution of the marble, generating salt movement within the microstructure. Temperature can intensify the deterioration rate and the patterns of salt relocation within the stone. High temperatures normally multiply the chemical changes. Sudden changes in temperature can cause stresses due to the differential in expansion. Moisture is considered to be one of the foremost causes of the problems that may happen. However, other troubles like erosion due to wind and mutilation may also occur.
Applications Of Marble
Marble has numerous applications for structural and decorative purposes. It is utilised for outdoor sculpture, external walls, floor covering, decoration, stairs, and pavements. The technique of stone usage can influence exposure severity. Marble is considered the stone for the emperors and gods. The majority of prehistoric monuments were made of marble. Marble has decorated the corridors of cathedrals and historical places. Marble tiles cover the floors of the affluent and also beautifies the baths of more moderate homeowners. These tiles are either polished or honed. Polished tiles provide a stylish appearance, though they are extremely slippery when wet. Honed tiles offer more grip and are considered safe. Use of several treatments can slow the marble deterioration process. Marble is vulnerable to etching and staining by water and chemicals, for which appropriate advanced sealants have been developed to reduce this risk considerably.
Where Is It Located
Marble deposits can be found in various countries around the globe. Such European countries as Italy, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Russia, Romania, Sweden, and Germany, in addition to others in Asia, are among the globe’s leading producers of this valuable rock. The United States of America is also a high-level Marble producer, with states such as Alabama and Texas having especially large deposits to be found within their borders. It is, however, Italy, China, India, and Spain who dominate global Marble production.
Uses Area of Marble
Marble takes place in massive deposits that may be hundreds of toes thick and geographically good sized. This permits it to be economically mined on a large scale, with a few mines and quarries generating tens of millions of lots in keeping with yr.
Most of these rocks are made into either crushed stone or dimension stone. Crushed stone is used as an aggregate in highways, railroad beds, constructing foundations, and different kinds of construction. Dimension stone is produced by sawing marble into portions of particular dimensions. These are utilised in monuments, buildings, sculptures, paving and other projects. We have an article about “the makes use of marble” that includes pictures and descriptions of marble in many kinds of makes use of
Marble has many decorative and structural uses. It is used for outdoor sculpture as well as for sculpture bases; in architecture, it is used in exterior walls and veneers, flooring, decorative features, stairways and walkways. The way in which the stone is used may be a factor in limiting or controlling the severity of the exposure. The use or function of the marble may also affect the feasibility of applying certain treatments. Still, the type of use is not the primary factor in the major types of deterioration and damage to which marble is susceptible.
Problems and Deterioration
The natural forces and agents of weather may have a degrading effect on the appearance and structural soundness of marble. These agents include rain, snow, temperature, wind and atmospheric pollutants. Weathering agents almost never work singly, or in isolation, they always act in combination with one another or with other agents of deterioration.
Rainwater, especially in combination with atmospheric gases, can result in the dissolution of the marble, creating higher levels of salt movement within the microstructure. Temperature can affect rates of deterioration and (in larger stones) movement of the pieces, as well as patterns of salt migration within the stone. Higher temperatures often increase the rate of chemical changes; low temperatures can create the risk of “freeze-thaw” problems, and rapid changes of temperature can produce stresses in the material due to differential expansion. Most of the natural or inherent problems which can occur with marble require some degree of moisture to occur. However, other problems such as wind erosion and vandalism may occur independently.
Natural or Inherent Marble Problems
Marble subjected to exterior exposures deteriorates due to weathering or the natural effects of wind, rain, and thermal change. Marble is extremely durable, and because of its limited porosity does not absorb large amounts of water. It does, however, absorb some water and, since it is highly reactive when exposed to acids or even mildly acidic rainwater, it can suffer substantial deterioration. In short, while the porosity of marble is low, the shape of the pores (elliptical) allows greater dissolution than in typical round pores, and this fact coupled with marble’s inherent solubility in acids can result in two major problems:
Loss of polish
The most common symptoms of weathering are a loss of the highly polished surface (where it exists) and loss of crisp edge details in decorative carved areas of the stone.
Little can be done to restore edge detailing short of re-carving the stone which is usually infeasible. The gloss or polish can be maintained and, to some degree, restored on the surface of marble by using marble polishing powder and soft buffing pads. The level of effort or labour required to repolish stone will depend upon the degree of deterioration of the surface, or loss of polish. New pieces, restored pieces or well-maintained surfaces can be retained in a highly polished state with much less effort than surfaces which have been exposed to weathering for long periods of time with little or no maintenance. For this reason, polished marble should receive regular preventive maintenance by polishing.
Having a hard time polishing stone? buy stone polishing tools we got you covered.
Erosion can be the result of general weathering described above, or it can be a more localised phenomenon based upon handling or exposure. Wind-driven, airborne abrasives such as dirt, grit, and other “particles” may selectively wear away detailing. The effects will depend largely upon the direction of prevailing winds. One of the few effective ways to address this problem is by landscaping where plantings and/or landscape grade can deflect the wind. Such landscaping and/or grading may range from the simple and inexpensive to a major and expensive intervention. It would have to be consistent with the policy for the management of cultural landscapes. It may, however, be cost-effective when considering the extended life of the building.
The symptoms of erosion can be as simple as the general loss of polish and edge sharpness as described above, or it can be very localised, specific wear due to contact with landscaping and mowing equipment. Localised damage due to contact by mowing or other maintenance equipment is preventable. Where there is evidence of recurrent physical damage, steps should be taken to protect the stone.
Discolouration of the marble, whether general or localised, is staining. Staining may be the result of exposure to a variety of exterior substances, or to internal occlusions in the stone or structural elements.
Some of the most common types of staining and the causative agents are:
- Oil/grease stains: These stains are usually the result of vandalism or handling. A variety of organic or inorganic oils may be absorbed into the stone upon contact. The depth of penetration will depend upon the viscosity of the oil/grease, temperature, stone porosity, finish and dryness.
- The appearance of grease/oil stains will usually consist of a darkening of the stone at the area of contact. The edges of the staining will generally be diffused, especially after an extended period. There are standard techniques for removing oil and grease stains and may often be accomplished by maintenance personnel.
- Dyes and inks: The staining can be any colour depending on the type and source of the dye. This type of stain is likely to be extremely localised around the area of contact. The liquid containing the colouration may be absorbed into the stone, and during the normal process of evaporation, the colouring pigment is deposited within the stone.
- Organic stains: Organic stains are caused by direct contact with decomposing organic matter, such as leaves, bird or animal droppings, flowers, tea or coffee. Regardless of the source, these stains tend to be a slight reddish-brown. They also frequently disappear after the source has been removed. Organic stains may be left to weather and bleach or oxidise out after the removal of the organic source. However, a residue may remain on the stone.
- Metallic stains: Two major categories of metallic staining are based on either iron or copper. The source of the staining may be internal structural components or features. A common source is the water wash, or run-off, from adjacent metallic elements, especially bronze.
- General dirt, soot and pollution: Marble can be discoloured generally or locally by atmospheric dirt, grime and other airborne particulates which adhere to the material. The visual appearance is usually a dulling or greying effect which mutes or obscures the original colour and gloss. Effects of dirt are usually intensified in the protected areas, where the rinsing effect of rainwater is diminished.
- Dirt can be a complex composition of finely divided solids held together by organic material, including soot, siliceous dust, and other airborne material. It may include particles of metals, glass, ceramics, metal oxides and minerals.
Physical Properties of Marble
- Colour: White, pink
- Derived: Limestone, dolomite
- Grain size – medium grained; can see interlocking calcite crystals with the naked eye.
- Hardness – hard, although component mineral is soft (calcite is three on Moh’s scale of hardness)
- Structure: Massive
- Group: Metamorphic Rocks
- Texture: Granoblastic, granular.
- Formation: Regional or contact metamorphic
- Acid Reaction: Being composed of calcium carbonate, marble will react in contact with many acids, neutralising the acid. It is one of the most effective acid neutralisation materials. It is often crushed and used for acid neutralisation in streams, lakes, and soils.
- Hardness: Being composed of calcite, marble has a hardness of three on the Mohs hardness scale. As a result, It is easy to carve, and that makes it useful for producing sculptures and ornamental objects. The translucence of marble makes it especially attractive for many types of sculptures.
- Ability to Accept a Polish: After being sanded with progressively finer abrasives, It can be polished to a high lustre. This allows attractive pieces of marble to be cut, polished, and used as floor tiles, architectural panels, facing stone, window sills, stair treads, columns, and many other pieces of decorative stone.
- Major minerals of Marble: Calcite
- Accessory minerals of Marble: Diopside, tremolite, actinolite, dolomite
At CMP Stonemason Supplies we have all you need.
Marble is beautiful – no one can dispute that. Its characteristics from patterns to colours are what make the stone special. It is understandable why people choose to have a marble kitchen countertops.
There are a number of stone colours available in granite although none can match the beauty of veined white marble.
Marble has long been the stone of choice from castles of old to commercial applications of the finest quality. Monuments to ballroom floors, window sills to sophisticated foyers, it is a stone that rarely competes with other elements for attention. However, it can blend in or serve as the centrepiece of a room, depending on its pairings.
Whether a classic neutral like Crema Marfil or a more striking variety like Rosa Verona, which is dominated by oranges and reds, marble is an elegant but eye-catching stone. Surprisingly, marble is a comparatively affordable option when measured against other natural stone options. This makes it an elegant but attainable option for today’s homes.
Marble is susceptible to chips or stains, as it is a softer stone, its also susceptible to etching, meaning that any acids (lemon juice, tomato juice, wine) that are not cleaned the right way may etch the surface of the stone making it dull. If it is a honed or leather finish, the etching is masked within the surface. On a polished finish, once the etching is overwhelming after years of use, the entire surface can be repolished, bringing it back to its original beauty.
One characteristic of all Travertines is the presence of small voids that were caused by air bubbles in hot water. At times when the springs went cold, onyx was formed. It is not uncommon to find bands of onyx among travertine beds.
Marbles are suitable for both interior and exterior applications. Still, it should be noted that with today’s environment containing so many pollutants, if a polish finish is specified on marble, it will not last.