Marble Slabs – Marbles Journey From the Earth to Your Home

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marble slabsThe appeal of natural stone, such as marble, for use in renovation projects and home building, has been in high demand for decades. It can be shaped and utilized for many purposes, including sculptures and countertops, but the steps required to get the stone where it is needed is quite a bit different from many other mined materials. Marble is mined as a dimension stone. Dimension stone is different from minerals or precious metals, like platinum, in that they are generally taken from the ground in large blocks or slabs, rather than small pieces like those seen in a gold mine. The first step in the process is locating marble deposits.
Marble is discovered the same way most other stones or minerals are found. Geologists and other rock experts use similar methods to those used in gold mining to discover where the marble exist in the earth. Areas deemed likely to have a high content of the substance in question by the surveying team will be drilled, and samples from as deep as 1,200m will be examined to ensure a quarry with high yields. According to the most recent reports from the Ministry of Industry in the Republic of Tunisian, a producer of high quality marble themselves, five countries combined currently represent 57% of the world's marble exports: Italy (20%), China (16%), India (10%), Spain (6%), and Portugal (5%).
Mining and Transporting
Once the stone has been discovered, it is removed from the earth in very large blocks using drills and saws. Ideally, the blocks are removed in the shape of a rectangle because it is easier to transport and shape. Before it is transported to a plant to be processed, the large blocks are examined. Impurities, blemishes, and cracks are removed from the stone. Next, the stone blocks are organized by colour. The blocks will then be moved to the processing plant where they will be shaped or formed into smaller blocks and slabs.
Once the marble blocks arrive at the processing plant, they are measured and cut into several smaller pieces that are more manageable. Cutting the blocks can be a dangerous and unstable duty because no two blocks are of the same composition. Different materials going into the saw have different densities that will alter the required speed and torque of the equipment being used. Some saw blades used for cutting marble blocks could have a 5.4m diameter. Once useable sized slabs are cut, they are run through a polishing process. There are different processes for different types of finishes, from honed to glass polished, but all use a similar technique which involves grinding the surface with a decreasingly course abrasive material until the desired look is achieved.
Knowing how your marble is cut and where your marble comes from is an important step when shopping and comparing prices. It also allows one to better appreciate the beauty of their investment in natural stone by creating a history of the piece which can be solidified through tactile response. Enjoy your stone pieces. They came a long way to be with you, and they'll last a lifetime.