Uses of Granite

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Introduction

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 stone, let us take a look at its other fundamental properties. 

How is Granite Formed?

Granite is an igneous rock which means 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 quarriable stone 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 utilizing in various purposes. 

  • The 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 it comes to the offer of fire resistance from granite, they offer a reasonable resistance due to the presence of fewer minerals. 

  • Similar to 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. 

 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 per cent of their composition. 

  •  Granite contains lime in about 1 per cent of its composition. 

  • Other components such as iron oxides, magnesia, titian and water are also contained in this rock in variable quantities ranging from 1 per cent to 0.03 per cent. 

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 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. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How Hard is Granite? 

Ans: 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. 

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

Ans: 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.