Dhristi JEE 2022-24

Introduction to Granite

Granite is one of the most common rocks that is known to human beings and is used quite extensively in our lives. It is classified as a form of igneous rock. Granite uses vary drastically in our world, but due to its extreme strength, it is used a lot. As far as the appearance of this rock is considered, it has quite a grainy surface that is large enough to be seen by the naked eye. So, to proceed with discussing the several uses of this stone, let us take a look at its other fundamental properties. 

 

How is Granite Formed?

Granite is an igneous rock, which means that it is formed when the magma of the volcano oxidises and then begins to slowly solidify under the ground. Since magma contains a variety of minerals and chemicals, various reactions lead to the formation of various kinds of igneous rocks. 

In the case of granite, the rock is made up mostly of quartz, with variable amounts of plagioclase and feldspar. When the magma of the volcano forms, silica (in high content) along with the oxides of alkali metals gradually solidify and lead to forming the granite stone. It is found mostly in the earth’s continental crust. 

 

Granite Properties 

The Physical Properties of this Stone are:

  • It has very dense silica content. Since the rock is made largely of silica from magma, it contains a large amount of silica. 

  • Due to the large presence of silica in its composition, granite is highly resistant to decay. 

  • Granite is an easily quarried stone. This is due to the presence of a mural joint. 

  • Similar to the quarrying, the rift and the grain that are present in abundance in granite make its dressing easy for utilising in various purposes. 

  • The igneous property of granite makes it incredibly polishable for construction purposes as a polished and hard surface can last relatively longer than other stones. 

  • Granite offers a reasonable resistance to fire due to the presence of fewer minerals. 

  • Similarly, Granite also offers a reasonable resistance to frost due to the presence of fewer minerals

  • Granite is relatively free from fractures. 

 

The Chemical Properties of this Stone are: 

  • Granite is an example of igneous rock and it, therefore, contains the most amount of silica in its core component that is made up of 70 to 77 % of silica. 

  • Alumina is also present in granite in 11 to 14 % of its chemical composition.

  • Potassium oxide and soda make up about 3 to 5 % of their composition. 

  •  Granite contains lime in about 1 % of its composition. 

  • Other components such as iron oxides, magnesium, titanium and water are also contained in this rock in variable quantities ranging from 1 % to 0.03 %.


Structure of Granite Molecule

The molecular structure of granite is as follows:


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Granite Rock Uses 

The resistible and hard surface of granite garners a lot of usage of the rock from humans both because of its sturdy nature and its shiny and polished appearance that is achieved very easily. So, to begin with, the uses of this stone are as follows: 

  1. Kitchen Uses: 

Granite is the most used in the kitchen of houses as kitchen countertops. Due to their polished and shiny appearance, they are used extensively in kitchens as countertops, backsplashes, etc., around the world. 

  1. Construction Uses: 

Granite buildings have also been observed to have a place in a lot of societies since the middle ages. Due to the sturdy nature of the stone and its frost and fire resistance, granite was and is still sometimes used to build buildings all around the world. Other than that, granite can also be used as a decorative stone to adorn the appearance of a building. 

  1. Flooring Uses: 

Granite flooring is also very prevalent in the world. Due to their strength and appearance, they are used in abundance in flooring, tiling, etc. 

  1. Miscellaneous Uses: 

Apart from the aforementioned uses, granite is also used in road making, where laying a base of granite gives the road required strength, they are also used in hanging bridges as reinforcement blocks to stand the weight of the bridge, etc. 


Did You Know? 

  • The Black Hills of South Dakota depicting the former four US presidents is carved on granite. 

  • Granite is the main component in the Earth’s continental crust.

There are various types of granite stone namely, Santa (St.) Cecilia granite, Uba Tuba granite, Kashmir White granite, (New) Venetian Gold granite, Giallo Ornamental granite, Tan Brown granite, Baltic Brown granite, Volga Blue granite, Black Galaxy granite, Bianco Antico granite, Black Pearl granite, and Absolute Black granite. As the names suggest, the categorization is done mainly based on colours which vary depending on the amount of these minerals in the granite stone: quartz, feldspar, potassium feldspar, biotite, muscovite, and amphibole. 


Types of Granite

There are various types of granite stone namely, Santa (St.) Cecilia granite, Uba Tuba granite, Kashmir White granite, (New) Venetian Gold granite, Giallo Ornamental granite, Tan Brown granite, Baltic Brown granite, Volga Blue granite, Black Galaxy granite, Bianco Antico granite, Black Pearl granite, and Absolute Black granite. As the names suggest, the categorisation is done mainly based on colours which vary depending on the amount of these minerals in the granite stone: quartz, feldspar, potassium feldspar, biotite, muscovite, and amphibole. 

Granite is a light-coloured igneous rock having grains that are large enough for the naked eye to see. It forms below the surface of the earth by the slow crystallisation of magma. Granite is majorly composed of minerals like quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals. This mineral composition is responsible for the red, pink, grey, or white colour of granite with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.

Granite is one of the most recognized igneous rocks. Many people are familiar with granite because it is the most common igneous rock found on Earth's surface and is used to make many objects that they encounter in their day to day life. It is used to make countertops, floor tiles, paving stone, curbing, stair treads, building veneer, and cemetery monuments. Granite is used all around us - especially in building the infrastructure of modern-day cities.

Slow crystallisation of magma below the earth's surface leads to the formation of granite rock. The large mineral crystals that are visible in the rock proves that it cooled slowly from the molten rock material. The slow cooling process had to have occurred beneath Earth's surface and required a long period of time to occur. The presence of the rock at the earth's surface today indicates that the granite rocks were uplifted and the overlying rocks were eroded over time.

 

Uses and Applications of Granite

Granite is one of the toughest substances known to mankind. It has been extensively used for thousands of years due to its toughness and strength for various construction purposes

Here are some of the most important Granite applications:

  • Granite is used in jewellery making.

Granite is formed by the crystallisation of magma which makes the rock extremely beautiful. Some rare granites are used for making jewellery and gemstones. For example – Blue tint found in the Himalayas known as K2 Azurite granite is a rare stone and is used as a gemstone.

  • Used for Building Monuments

Structures like temples, gravestones or monuments which are supposed to stand the test of time are usually made of granite. The trend has changed these days and there are many materials that are used for the same but before the existence of modern machinery and equipment, granite was the only rock used for building important monuments.

  •  Used in making Fireplace Mantle and Floor

Granite is extensively used for making fireplace mantle, usually in countries having cold weather conditions throughout the year, it makes the fireplace mantle look beautiful thus making the living room more attractive for a family and friends get-together. Sleek and perfect flooring with less maintenance can also be achieved by using granite in the floor. Granite tiles are available in different shapes and sizes along with beautiful patterns.

  •  Used in Bathroom, Shelves, Tabletops, Basins

Granite provides a unique look for kitchen tops, shelves, tabletops and basins and also provides strength and durability. It looks elegant and is very easy to clean thus used extensively for these purposes. There are various granite basins available in the market. These are water-resistant and the maintenance is also very easy.

  • Miscellaneous Uses: 

Apart from the aforementioned uses, granite is also used in road making, where laying a base of granite gives the road required strength, they are also used in hanging bridges as reinforcement blocks to stand the weight of the bridge, etc. 

 

Conclusion

This study resource on Granite and its uses provides comprehensive coverage of what granite is, how it is formed, what its physical and chemical properties are and what are its numerous applications.

FAQs on Uses of Granite

1. Where can I find useful study resources about Granite?

You can find everything you need on the Vedantu app or website. These resources are created by professionals in the field and the content is accurate and reliable. Students can find various interesting facts about granite, its uses, composition details, availability and a whole lot more! These study materials are completely free and there is no cost involved. All students just have to sign in and then they will be able to download what they want in pdf format. Every student can take advantage of these free resources that will surely help you ace your exams.

2. What are the different Physical properties of granite?

It has very dense silica content. Since the rock is generally made largely of silica from magma, it contains a large amount of silica. Because of the large presence of silica in its composition, granite is highly resistant to decay. Granite is an easily quarried stone due to the presence of a mural joint. Just like the quarrying, the rift and the grain that are present in abundance in granite make its dressing easy for utilising in various purposes. The great igneous property of granite makes them incredibly polishable for the construction purposes of humans as a polished and hard surface can last relatively longer than other stones. When the situation comes to the offer of fire resistance from granite, they offer a reasonable resistance due to the presence of fewer minerals. Just like the fire resistance, the resistance that is offered by this stone to frost is also reasonable because of the same reason for its fire resistance. Granite is relatively free from fractures.

3. What is the Chemical composition of granite?

Granite is a type of igneous rock and a major portion of its composition is made up of silica. The granite rock consists of 70 to 77 percent of silica. Alumina is also present in granite in 11 to 14% of its chemical composition. Potassium oxide and soda make up about 3 to 5 percent of its composition. Granite contains about 1 percent of lime. Other components such as iron oxides, magnesium, titanium, and water are also contained in this rock in variable quantities ranging from 1 percent to 0.03 percent.

4. What are the different uses of Granite?

Granite is used for making structures like Temples, gravestones and monuments which are supposed to exist for a very long period of time. Due to its strength and durability, it is used for making pillars of huge monuments, pillars of granite can be polished for an attractive appearance also. Granite is used along with marble for beautiful flooring as the two stones compliment each other and create beautiful patterns. Due to its great strength and water resisting capacity, granite is used for making roads and building blocks for huge monuments. Granite is used for making kitchen and bathroom worktops. It is widely used as it is waterproof, stain resistant, heat resistant, easy to clean and hard to damage so it’s one of the most used rocks in modern day kitchens.

5. On which part of the Earth’s Crust Granite is most Abundant? 

Granite is abundant in the continental crust of the earth. Since the types of granite stone vary largely in colour and texture based on their area of formation, the availability of the stone depends on the region and the chemical composition of the ground. The stone of granite is the most abundant substance in the continental crust of the world because it is an igneous rock which is the result of crystallisation of the magma of a volcano. As a result of its richness, the usage of the stone is also quite extensive and encompassing.

6. How Hard is Granite? 

Granite is the second hardest natural substance in the world, after diamond. The strength of the stone is attributed to its igneous nature. Since the formation of granite takes place from the solidification of silica and iron oxides, its strength is a lot higher than that of other stones or materials. The silica that makes up most of the granite’s core is also highly resistive to the erosion of damage, therefore, the rock of granite is the world’s second-hardest substance. Similarly, the high melting point of the stone also makes it less likely to be melted in day-to-day scenarios.

7. On which part of the Earth’s Crust Granite is most Abundant? 

Granite is abundant in the continental crust of the earth. Since the types of granite stone vary largely in colour and texture based on their area of formation, the availability of the stone depends according to the region and the chemical composition of the ground. The stone of granite is the most abundant substance in the continental crust of the world due to it being an igneous rock which is resulted from the magma of a volcano. As a result of its abundance, the usage of the stone is also quite extensive and encompassing.

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