Most of us are well aware that granite is one of the strongest and grandest natural stones used in construction, but there is more to the ancient igneous rock than just that.
In this post, we are going to look at three interesting and important facts about granite as a construction material, which are not as frequently discussed.
- Strength On A Planetary Scale: Granite’s Incredible Toughness is Underestimated
- Granite is Also Used In Road And Path Construction
- There Are Ancient Granite Structures Are Still Standing After Several Millenniums
- Other Interesting Granite Facts You May Want To Know
- 1. Granite’s Age
- 2. Plutonic Rock
- 3. The White Grains
- 4. The Actual Density
- 5. How Hard Granite Is
- 6. Curling Stones
- 7. Kangchenjunga
Strength On A Planetary Scale: Granite’s Incredible Toughness is Underestimated
The Mohs Scale rates granite 6 – 8, which proves that granite can be quite hard, but not the hardest. This is what misleads most of us into mistaking granite’s hardness rating as its toughness or strength. Hardness as indicated by the Mohs Scale indicates the tested object’s ability to resist surface-level scratches. Toughness, on the other hand, is much more relevant in terms of construction, as it signifies the object’s ability to resist pulling, crushing, shearing, bending, and torsional stress.
Igneous granite formations are mostly what all continental plates are made up of. These quartz-rich formations are literally holding the planet’s crushing pressure on top of them, while simultaneously resisting all other types of tectonic stress. If you decide to use granite in manufacturing or construction, rest assured that the result is going to be extremely durable and beautiful.
Granite is Also Used In Road And Path Construction
We are familiar with granite slabs, which are used for manufacturing gorgeous natural stone countertops and tabletops. Then, of course, there are thin granite tiles, mostly used for tile floors and walls for aesthetics and durability. What most of us are not familiar with are the several uses of decomposed granite for the construction of:
Even when granite is decomposed and used as a water-permeable road construction material, it maintains a higher strength than marble and almost any other aggregate.
There Are Ancient Granite Structures Are Still Standing After Several Millenniums
The Parthenon was an ancient Greek temple, dedicated to worshipping the Goddess Athena. It is no longer a temple and has previously sustained significant damage incurred by acts of past wars. Despite all that, The Parthenon has stood the test of time and durability because it was made almost entirely out of granite. Now that the restoration is complete (1978 - 2020), it stands once again as a gorgeous, spectacle of ancient Greek architecture to behold.
While there are also several other examples of ancient granite structures that are still standing strong in their foundations, none of them are quite as impressive as the Egyptian pyramids. The innermost tomb of the pharaoh inside the Pyramid of Giza was constructed from Aswanian granite alone and they have since remained unaffected in their integrity even after thousands of years.
As should be evident by now, granite is not just about countertops and aesthetic tiling, but it can be used in several other ways as well. Most importantly, anything you build from this igneous rock is probably going to last for generations, making it well worth the price.
Other Interesting Granite Facts You May Want To Know
Some other things you might want to know about granite include:
1. Granite’s Age
Granite is the oldest of the world’s igneous rocks. Specialists think it was formed around 300 million years in the past. Just in case you were not aware, an igneous rock is formed from the cooling of magma or lava.
2. Plutonic Rock
Granite is sometimes described as being a plutonic rock. This practically means that it forms way deep underground. In fact, this is one of the main components of the continental crust of planet Earth.
3. The White Grains
When you look at granite, you see some white mineral grains. They are feldspar. This is actually the most abundant of all of the planet’s rocks. It sums up to 60 percent of the entire surface.
4. The Actual Density
Granite’s density is an impressive 162 pounds per one cubic foot. This is actually 2 times heavier than when compared with the exact same water volume.
5. How Hard Granite Is
As one of the hardest possible substances in the entire world, granite has a hardness of 7 on the scale used for that, which is called Mohs. You may want to know that granite is so durable and tough that the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal is actual made out of granite. This is just one modern example we all know but ever since Ancient Egyptians, granite was very popular. The material was even used for the United States’ very first commercial railroad, which is located in Quincy, MA.
6. Curling Stones
If you know the sport of curling, you surely know the stones that are used in the games. Those stones are actually made out of Blue Hone granite, which is taken from Ailsa Craig, an island close to Scotland.
This is a mountain located in the Himalayas and stands out as the highest made out of granite on Earth. It has a height of 8,586 meters and holds the title of the third highest on Earth. The only two that are higher are K2 (made out of gneiss) and Everest (made out of limestone). As an extra fun fact, The US Mount Rushmore is made out of granite. This is why it was so easy to sculpt.
Right now, you surely know that granite is a very important material in modern constructions. It is durable, beautiful, and is perfect for bathroom remodels, kitchen countertops, and so much more. While maintenance will definitely be needed in many cases, it is still one of the most interesting options available even in modern constructions.
The only other thing you need to be aware of is that you have to find a really experienced contractor when you want to use granite in your projects. This is necessary because the material can be tricky to work with in some cases. This is especially the case when talking about constructions since we are talking about the safety of your home.