What Is Stone | Types of Stone | Uses of Stones

What Is Stone Types of Stone Uses of Stones

What Is Stone?

What Is Stone

Stone is a naturally available building material that has been used in the early age of civilization. It’s available in the form of rocks, which can be cut into the required size and shape and used as a building block.

It has been used to construct small residential buildings into large temples and palaces all over the world.

Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Vidhan Sabha in Bangalore, and several palaces of medieval age all over India would be the famous stone buildings.

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Type of Stones

Type of Stones

Stones used for civil engineering works may be classified in the following three ways:

  1. Geological
  2. Physical
  3. Chemical

1. Geological Classification

Geological Classification

Based on their origin of formation stones are classified into three main groups

  • Igneous Rocks.
  • Sedimentary Rocks.
  • Metamorphic Rocks.

1.1 Igneous Rocks.

These rocks are formed by cooling and solidifying these rock masses in their molten magmatic condition of the material of the earth.

Normally, igneous rocks are strong and durable. Granite, trap, and basalt are the rocks belonging to this category, and Granites are formed by slow cooling of the lava under thick cover on the top.

Hence they have crystalline surfaces. The cooling of lava in the top surface of the earth results in non-crystalline and glassy texture. Trap and basalt belong to this category.

1.2. Sedimentary Rocks.

Because of weathering action of water, wind and frost existing rocks disintegrate. The disintegrated material is carried by water and wind; the water being the most powerful medium.

Flowing water deposits its suspended materials in a few points of obstacles to its flow. These deposited layers of materials get consolidated under pressure and by heat.

Chemical agents also contribute to the cementing of these deposits. The rocks so formed are more uniform, fine-grained, and compact within their nature.

They represent a bedded or stratified structure in general. Sandstones, limestones, mud-stones, etc. belong to this class of rock.

1.3. Metamorphic Rocks.

Previously formed igneous and sedimentary rocks under go changes because of metamorphic action of pressure and internal heat.

For example, because of metamorphic action granite becomes grasses, trap and basalt change to schist and laterite, limestone changes to marble, sandstone becomes quartzite, and mud-stone becomes slate.

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2. Physical Classification.

Physical Classification

Based on the structure, the rocks may be classified as:

  • Stratified Rocks.
  • Unstratified Rocks.
  • Foliated Rocks.

2.1. Stratified Rocks.

These rocks have a layered structure. They possess planes of stratification or cleavage. They may be easily split along these planes. Sandstones, lime-stones, slate, etc. are examples of this class of stones.

2.2. Unstratified Rocks.

These rocks aren’t stratified. They possess compact and comprehensible grains. They can’t be split into a thin slab. Granite, trap, marble, etc. are examples of this type of rock.

2.3. Foliated Rocks.

These rocks have a tendency to split along a definite direction only. The direction is parallel to each other, as in the case of stratified rocks. This type of structure is very common in the case of metamorphic rocks.

3. Chemical Classification

Chemical Classification

On the basis of their chemical composition engineers prefer to classify rocks as:

  • Silicious Rocks
  • Argillaceous Rocks
  • Calcareous Rocks

3.1 Silicious Rocks

The main content of these rocks is silica. They are hard and durable. Examples of such rocks are granite, trap, sandstones, etc.

3.2 Argillaceous Rocks

The main constituent of the rocks is argil, i.e., clay. These stones are tough and durable, but they are brittle. They can’t withstand shock. Slates and laterites are examples of this type of rock.

3.3. Calcareous Rocks

The main constituent of the rocks is calcium carbonate. Limestone is a calcareous rock of sedimentary origin, while marble is a calcareous rock of metamorphic origin.

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Uses of Stones

Uses of Stones

Stones are used in the following civil engineering constructions:

  • Stone masonry is used for the construction of walls, foundations, arches, and columns.
  • Stones are used for flooring.
  • Stone slabs are used as damp proof courses, lintels, as well as roofing materials.
  • Stones with good appearance are used for the face works of buildings. Polished marbles and granite are generally used for face works.
  • Stones are used for paving of roads, footpaths and open spaces across the buildings.
  • Stones can also be used in the construction of piers and abutments of bridges, dams, and retaining walls.
  • Crushed stones together with graved are used to provide a base course for roads. When mixed with tar, they form finishing coat.
  • Crushed stones are used in the following works also:
  • As a basic inert material in concrete.
  • For making artificial stones and building blocks.
  • As railway ballast.


What Is Stone?

The hard substance, formed of mineral matter, of which rocks consist. A rock or particular piece or kind of rock, as a boulder or piece of agate. A piece of rock quarried and worked into a specific size and shape for a particular purpose: paving stone;building stone. A small piece of rock, as a pebble.

What Is Stone Made Of?

In geology, rock (or stone) is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition, and the way in which it is formed.

What Does a Stone Weigh?

British unit of weight for dry products generally equivalent to 14 pounds avoirdupois (6.35 kg), though it varied from 4 to 32 pounds (1.814 to 14.515 kg) for various items over time.

Types of Stones

The familiar stone types that are used today are identified through four categories: SEDIMENTARY, METAMORPHIC, IGNEOUS STONE, and MAN-MADE.

What Is the Use of Stone?

Buildings, walls, paving slabs. Aggregates – stone used for its strong physical properties – crushed and sorted into various sizes for use in concrete, coated with bitumen to make asphalt or used ‘dry’ as bulk fill in construction. Mostly used in roads, concrete and building products.

Different Types of Stones and Its Uses

Marble, granite and sandstone are used for facing work of buildings. Limestone and sandstone are used for general building works. Fine-grained granite, marble, and soft sandstone are used for Carvings and ornamental works. Compact limestone and sandstone are used for Fire-resistant masonry.

Example of Stone

Many types of stones are available such as basalt, marble, limestone, sandstone, quartzite, travertine, slate, gneiss, laterite, and granite which can be used as construction materials.

How Is Stone Made?

These stones are formed through the compacting of grains or pieces of any kind of existing rock material. These existing rocks may have been weathered, transported, deposited and then cemented over millions of years by the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates.

Igneous Rock

Igneous rocks (from the Latin word for fire) form when hot, molten rock crystallizes and solidifies. The melt originates deep within the Earth near active plate boundaries or hot spots, then rises toward the surface.

Igneous Rocks Examples

Igneous Rocks Examples

  • Granite. Granite is a hard igneous rock made of clearly visible crystals of various minerals. …
  • Basalt. Basalt is a dark-coloured, fine-grained igneous rock. …
  • Pumice. Pumice is a light igneous rock with thousands of tiny bubbles in them.

Sedimentary Rock

Sedimentary rocks are formed from pre-existing rocks or pieces of once-living organisms. They form from deposits that accumulate on the Earth’s surface. Sedimentary rocks often have distinctive layering or bedding.

Sedimentary Rocks Examples

Common sedimentary rocks include sandstone, limestone, and shale. These rocks often start as sediments carried in rivers and deposited in lakes and oceans. When buried, the sediments lose water and become cemented to form rock.

Metamorphic Rock

Metamorphic rocks started out as some other type of rock, but have been substantially changed from their original igneous, sedimentary, or earlier metamorphic form. Metamorphic rocks form when rocks are subjected to high heat, high pressure, hot mineral-rich fluids or, more commonly, some combination of these factors.

Metamorphic Rocks Examples

Common metamorphic rocks include phyllite, schist, gneiss, quartzite and marble. Foliated Metamorphic Rocks: Some kinds of metamorphic rocks — granite gneiss and biotite schist are two examples — are strongly banded or foliated.

Stratified Rock

Sedimentary rock, also called stratified rock, is formed over time by wind, rain and glacial formations. These rocks may be formed by erosion, compression or dissolution. Sedimentary rock may range from green to gray, or red to brown, depending on iron content and is usually softer than igneous rock.

Stratified Rocks Examples

Stratified rocks: show distinct layers along which the rocks can be split. The examples are sandstone, limestone, shale, slate, marble, etc.

Foliated Rocks

Foliated Metamorphic Rocks:
Foliation forms when pressure squeezes the flat or elongate minerals within a rock so they become aligned. These rocks develop a platy or sheet-like structure that reflects the direction that pressure was applied.

Non Foliated Rocks

Non-foliated Metamorphic Rocks
Not all parent rocks have platy or elongated minerals and when these rocks undergo metamorphism the individual mineral grains do not align.

Foliated Rocks Examples

Some kinds of metamorphic rocks — granite gneiss and biotite schist are two examples — are strongly banded or foliated. (Foliated means the parallel arrangement of certain mineral grains that gives the rock a striped appearance.)

Non Foliated Rocks Examples

Types of non-foliated metamorphic rocks include marble, quartzite and hornfels.

Argillaceous Rocks

Clastic sedimentary rock containing silt- or clay-sized particles that are less than 0.0625 mm and/or clay minerals.

Argillaceous Rocks Examples

The argillaceous rocks (lutites) include shales, argillites, siltstones, and mudstones.

Calcareous Rocks

Calcareous rocks are predominantly carbonate rocks, usually limestone or dolostone. Typically form in a stable continental shelf environment along a passive margin. They may be pure carbonate, or they may contain variable amounts of other precipitates (such as chert or hematite) or detrital material (sand, clays, etc.)

Calcareous Rocks Examples

Marble, limestone, dolomite, etc. are some of the calcium predominant rocks.

Advantages of Stone

  • Durability: Natural stone will not fade or wear over time; in fact it looks better with age.
  • Natural Color: The vibrancy and life of natural stone cannot be captured by any painted product.
  • Every Stone is Unique.
  • Cost-Effective.
  • Workability.
  • Easy Maintenace.

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