Rocks are mainly three main types- sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. Each of these rocks is formed due to physical changes that occur in the life cycle of a rock over a period of million years. They are formed by melting, cooling, or by heat and pressure. Buried deep underground, rocks are extracted using several techniques like mining, quarrying, and so on.
In recent years, some of these rock types have been used extensively for construction purposes. For example, granite is used in making kitchen countertops and flooring. Marble is mainly used for flooring purposes. Limestone is used in overall exterior construction. However, in this article, we are going to discuss the sandstone rock that has found immense importance in the architecture industry.
What is Sandstone?
Sandstone is a type of sedimentary rock that is formed over a period of millions of years under high heat and pressure. It is known as sandstone as the major portion of it is mainly composed of sand-sized mineral particles. It also composes rock fragments or fossil pieces that are held together by a mineral cement. The fossils present form the organic content of sandstone rock.
The major silicates that are found in the sandstone are feldspar and quartz. The presence of these two minerals makes sandstone weather and corrosion-resistant. These are the main two properties because of which this sedimentary rock is widely used in the construction industry.
What Are The Available Types of Sandstone Rock?
Even though the main composition of the rock remains the same throughout, the structural integrity varies because of which there are different forms of sandstone rock that are extracted from nature.
Here, we have discussed the most common types which you can see in use.
- Arkose: Contains high feldspar content, almost >25%
- Calclithite: Contains grains of carbonate >50% and is extracted from disintegrated limestones
- Flagstone: Contains mica and can be cut into small thin flags
- Greywacke: Improperly formed, dark-colored sandstone with coarser sand molecules
- Greensand: Contains a large amount of green clay element glauconite
- Grit: The slabs have sharp angular corners due to coarse-grained particles
- Quartzite: Sandstone variety after the process of metamorphosis
Why it is used frequently in Building Constructions?
As we have said earlier, sandstone rock has found its immense use in the construction and architecture industry. In past also, many famous buildings were made with this particular rock, thanks to its impeccable beauty that can make architecture stand out in the crowd.
In the present era, sandstone is considered to be the future of the construction industry.
Here, are some of the reasons which will shed some light on the importance of sedimentary rock in architecture.
#1. Beauty: If you simply look at the sand, you will see no beauty in it. Even though it is a binding material in the mortar paste, sand alone can’t be used for construction purposes. But, it’s a modified version- the sandstone has the ability to enhance the beauty of any structure, thereby proving itself to be of great help to the architects.
#2. Color Variety: The sandstone rock is present in various colors, starting from light beige to dark brown and even in gray color tones. With these color variations, it has become possible to impart a combination of natural chrome shades to the architectures.
#3. Different Types-Different Properties: As we have already discussed, sandstone rock in different varieties. Each variety has its own set of features, which are useful for the builders in different types of construction. This has made the rock quite versatile over recent years.
#4. Need Low Maintenance: Another major benefit that has increased its popularity is the little to low maintenance. Sandstone doesn’t require a hefty amount of regular maintenance because it’s resistant to corrosion and moisture.
#5. Versatility in Texture: Sandstones can be smooth or rough-textured. Smooth ones are used in the interiors while the rough ones are used for exteriors like pathways.
Whenever it comes to the question of using the sandstone rock, many people start hesitating since marble and quartz are the two major rocks used in construction. However, recently with the discovery of all these benefits, this particular sedimentary rock is also being used in various projects all across Australia.