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The minerals in stone came from the same liquid and gas minerals that formed the earth. The Earth developed as a massive body of gas and liquid minerals that slowly cooled and condensed to a solid core. Through pressure, the Earth's crust began to form and heavy minerals were forced down to the core of the Earth where they were trapped. As the crust got thicker, it squeezed around the inner core which created intense pressure and heat from within the Earth. Crystals and other solid forms began to grow from the mineral vapors that were being released. As the Earth's crust began to expand and erode, heat and pressure pushed the solid minerals up to the Earth's surface which formed colossal rock beds. It took up to one-hundred million years to form some of these beds. Many of the beds are now used as quarries where the stone is mined.
Most of these minerals can be identified by their color, hardness, and crystal formation. Crystals come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The wide array of these minerals are often difficult to identify. Many stones look very similar to each other; however, they are all very different.
It is imperative to know the exact type of stone that is to be maintained. Stone is natural and may have adverse reactions to certain cleaning chemicals and procedures. Most stones are also natural alkalis and so are dirt and soil; therefore, stone and dirt are attracted to each other which often makes cleaning very difficult. This makes the proper selection of cleaning procedures and chemicals for stone very complex.
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The familiar stone types that are used today are identified through four categories: SEDIMENTARY, METAMORPHIC, IGNEOUS STONE, and MAN-MADE.
Stone Names: This article is courtesy of Natural StoneCurrently, there are many companies around the world that use generic names to identify different types of stone. This has created a problem for the stone maintenance industry. The original names were in Italian. Usually the name consists of two parts. The first part describes the color and the second part describes the name from where the stone was quarried. ICONS CD ROM collection of stone images lists materials by generic names as well as other names known throughout the stone industry to help the identification process and offers an integrated search function to help locate stones by name, color or region.
There are many different types of stone available today. When stone is ordered, it is fabricated with a particular type of surface. There are six main types of surfaces that are selected:Honed: Provides a flat to low sheen gloss. Different levels of gloss can be selected. This surface is very smooth, but often very porous. This texture is common in high traffic buildings. Honed floors should always be protected with Stoneguard Penetrating Sealer because it has wide-open pores. Honed stone colors are not as vibrant as a polished stone.
Polished: A glossy surface that wears away with time due to heavy foot traffic and using improper maintenance procedures. This surface is very smooth and not very porous. The reflectivity of polished crystals brings out the brilliant colors and grains of natural stone. The shine comes from the natural reflection of the stone's crystals. The polish is provided by polishing bricks and polishing powders that are used during fabrication. The shine is not from a coating.
Flamed: A rough surface that is developed through intense heat. During fabrication, the stone is heated up and the crystals begin to pop, thus forming a rough surface. This surface is very porous and must be treated with Stoneguard.
Tumbled: A slightly rough texture that is achieved by tumbling small pieces of marble, limestone, and sometimes granite to achieve an archaic/worn appearance. It often requires an application of Stone Color Enhancer to bring out the colors.
Sand Blasted: This surface is the result of a pressurized flow of sand and water that provides a textured surface with a matte gloss.
Sawn: A process performed by using a gang saw.
Bush Hammered: A pounding action that develops a textured surface. The degree of roughness can be selected.
As discussed previously, stone was formed from different types of natural minerals. Marble's main consistency is calcium. Calcium carbonate is the natural source that bonds the stone. Certain additive minerals blended in to the calcium during formation to customize these brilliant colors. The additive minerals are also color developers present in granite and other natural stones.
The veins and color grains of marble were liquid minerals that flowed through the stone when the Earth heated up. The intense heat softened the limestone to allow the liquids to flow through it. When the Earth cooled, the mineral flow stopped and gradually hardened to its current state.
The delicate colors of stone can often be altered by the improper use of cleaning chemicals, mopping with dirty solution, using chemicals that are not designed for stone care, and sunlight can fade the color of natural minerals.
Polished stone floors become dull when heavy foot traffic along with sediment erodes the crystals. Normal footwear does not cause the main damage, sediment and grit do. The sediment and grit that lies on the stone surface is the main enemy of the stones crystals. The damage to the crystals occur when the pressure from the shoe forces the sediment to abrade or fracture the crystals.
Listed below is the famous Measurement of Hardness (MOH) Scale for stone. This is a guide developed in the 1800's which helps evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the stone being used. For example, softer stones would require the use of a less active chemical and a more frequent dust mopping program.
Measurement of Hardness Scale
The objective of the MOH Scale is to measure stones resistance to hardness. When sediment and grit are harder than the surface, they will scratch and harm the stone. For example, a piece of hard plastic is about a 2.0. It will not scratch #3 Calcite (Marble). However, a piece of sand that measures a 6, will scratch #3 Calcite but will not scratch #7 Quartz which is Granite. The harder the stone, the more resistant it is to abrasion. Exterior sediment that is tracked in to buildings approximately measures from 3.0 to 7.0.
This article is coutesy of Natural
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