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what building materials are made from limestone

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building with stone: limestone | stone specialist

We begin our journey through building stone with a look at limestone, probably the first widely used building material when you consider that most pre-historic caves are found in limestone massifs (a massif being a defined section of the Earth’s crust)

Portland has been used to build much of London since the Great Fire of 1666, including Christopher Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral. And, of course, Bath stone has been extensively used in the city of the same name. But there are many more limestones available, both indigenous and imported.

Limestone is, ideally, easy to extract from the ground and to shape in the workshop. In latter years, diesel and electric power, in conjunction with hydraulics and pneumatics and, most recently, computerised controls have supplemented muscle and brain power. This increases the efficiency of extraction, processing, transporting and fixing stone, helping to keep its price down and make it competitive with other building materials – especially when the whole life cost is considered. Stone has a particularly low maintenance long life.

building with stone: limestone | stone specialist

Some of the country’s limestone cathedrals might need constant attention, but they were built perhaps 1,000 years ago and much of the stone in them dates from that time, even if some of the carvings and mouldings have been re-worked from time to time

Limestone is most easily worked and weathers better when its properties are roughly equal in all directions, when it may be termed ‘freestone’. When masons are preparing limestones they are concerned about the ease of working them, their ability to hold a good edge (arris) and that there be no obvious splitting planes.

limestone | minerals education coalition

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed mostly of the mineral calcite and comprising about 15% of the Earth’s sedimentary crust. It is a basic building block of the construction industry (dimension stone) and a chief material from which aggregate, cement, lime and building stone are made. 71% of all crushed stone produced in the U.S. is either limestone or dolomite. As a source for lime, it is used to make paper, plastics, glass, paint, steel, cement, carpets, used in water treatment and purification plants and in the processing of various foods and household items (including medicines)

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed mostly of the mineral calcite and comprising about 15% of the Earth’s sedimentary crust. It is a basic building block of the construction industry (dimension stone) and a chief material from which aggregate, cement, lime and building stone are made. 71% of all crushed stone produced in the U.S. is either limestone or dolomite. As a source for lime, it is used to make paper, plastics, glass, paint, steel, cement, carpets, used in water treatment and purification plants and in the processing of various foods and household items (including medicines)

Most limestone and dolomite are mined from open quarries, although in many areas economic and environmental considerations favor large-scale production by underground mining. The only carbonate materials not consistently recovered by surface or underground mining are shell products that are dredged from parts of U.S. coastal waterways

The basic elements of surface mining are overburden removal, drilling, blasting and hauling ore to the crushing and processing plant. The selection of surface mining equipment varies with the particular requirements at each operation, including production capacity required, size and shape of the deposit, haul distances, estimated life of the operation, location relative to urban centers, and other social and economic factors. Other factors that must be considered in surface mining are the value of the products produced, location of competitive operations, and environmental and safety requirements associated with a particular deposit

limestone | minerals education coalition

The basic operations in underground mining are drilling, blasting, loading and hauling, scaling and roof bolting. Drilling equipment includes horizontal drills and down hole track drills. This equipment is generally quite different from that used for surface mining and results in much smaller blast holes and a lower volume of rock produced with each blast. Other equipment required in the underground mine includes powder loaders, which are used to blow ammonium nitrate–fuel oil mixtures into the blast holes. Scaling rigs, which are used to remove loose rocks from the ribs and roof of the mine, and roof-bolting equipment may also be required in an underground mine

Most underground limestone and dolomite mines are room-and-pillar-type operations, and many recover rock from both headings and benches. It is not uncommon for an underground limestone mine to have several benches and an overall mine height up to 30 m. Whereas the thickness of the deposit being mined is directly controlled by the thickness of the rock and related roof conditions, it is not uncommon for an individual heading to be 7.5 to 10.5 m high, and in some instances to reach as high as 15 m. Rooms are generally 13.5 to 15 m wide, which, depending on the type of drilling jumbo used, normally can be mined with one- or two-drill setups

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