a rock widely used in buildings, monuments, and sculptures. It
consists chiefly of calcite or dolomite, or a combination of these
carbonate minerals. Marble is a type of metamorphic rock formed
from limestone. Marble is found in many countries, including Belgium,
France, Great Britain, Greece, India, Italy, and Spain.
Marble is formed from limestone by heat and pressure in the earth's
crust. These forces cause the limestone to change in texture and
makeup. This process is called recrystallization. Fossilized materials
in the limestone, along with its original carbonate minerals,
recrystallise and form large, coarse grains of calcite. Impurities
present in the limestone during recrystallization affect the mineral
composition of the marble that forms. The minerals that result
from impurities give marble wide variety of colours. The purest
calcite marble is white. Marble containing hematite has a reddish
colour. Marble that has limonite is yellow, and marble with serpentine
Marble does not split easily into sheets of equal size and must
be mined carefully. The rock may shatter if explosives are used.
Blocks of marble are mined with channeling machines, which cut
grooves and holes in the rock,
Uses. Marble has long been highly valued for its beauty, strength,
and resistance to fire and erosion. The ancient Greeks used marble
in many buildings and statues. The Italian artist Michaelangelo
used marble from Carrara, Italy, in a number of sculptures.
Extremely pure calcite marble is used for most statues. Large
blocks of coloured marble are, used for columns, floors, and other
parts of buildings. Smaller pieces of such marble are crushed
or finely ground and used as abrasives in soaps and other products.
Crushed or ground marble is also used in paving roads and in manufacturing
roofing materials and soil treatment products.
Marble 1 :
Marble is limestone that has crystallized naturally over a period
of time. Marble is classified into four groups, Groups A, B, C,
and D. These are broad classifications and relate only to soundness
and working qualities. However, for the purpose of this maintenance
guide marble has been classified as exterior or interior maintenance
of marble. The test used for water absorption is ASTM C97. Marble
is cut into blocks, slabs or tile in various thickness and sizes.
Marble flooring is very sensitive to acids and alkalis and can
be stained if spills are not wiped up immediately. If marble flooring
is installed in an area where staining liquids are liable to cause
problems, then the flooring should be sealed and finish applied.
Marble 2 :
Marbles are basically metamorphosed limestones. Once limestone
is subjected to heat and pressure, the calcium carbonate re crystallizes
Marbles have similar characteristics to limestones and are typically
used on the same applications, though, marbles are almost always
more aesthetically valuable and available in much wider range
There are several types of marbles, including calcites (from calciferous
limestones), dolomites (from dolomitic limestone), serpentines
(typically green marbles) and travertines (sedimentary limestone).
Each of these is similar in their composition, that being predominantly
calcium carbonate, and their capability to take a polish. The
stone that is quarried west of Belen in central New Mexico is
a travertine marble.
Many years ago there was a cataclysmic shift in the earth's crust
and the Rio Grande Valley appeared. The Sandia mountains were
pushed up on the east side bringing granite to the surface and
leaving limestone on the top or backside of the mountain. This
limestone was once the floor of a vast ocean that covered the
entire southwest U.S. If you drive along south 14 you can see
the layers of limestone along along the roadside. This same limestone
is used to make cement at the plant in Tijeras, New Mexico. When
the valley was formed, there were openings made in the earth's
crust which allowed volcanoes to form and many hot springs to
appear. These hot spring were present west of Belen, and as they
came to the surface, the water passed through the limestone beds.
The calcium carbonate in the limestone went into suspension in
the water and once it got to the surface the water evaporated
and it become travertine.
One characteristic of all Travertines is the presence of small
voids that were caused by air bubbles in the hot water. At times
when the springs went cold, onyx was formed. It is not uncommon
to find bands of onyx among travertine beds.
Marbles are suitable for both interior and exterior applications
but it should be noted that with today's environment containing
so many pollutants, if a polish finish is specified on marble,
it will not last.