Extracting and Processing Granite

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm by kathy Comments Off on Extracting and Processing Granite

Granite is the preferred building materials because it is strong, beautiful and timeless. It is suitable to be used indoors and outdoors, because whether won’t damage it.

Granite is composed of many minerals. They are interlocked like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, giving the stone its characteristic speckles and its remarkable strength.

Granite is produced by nature, deep below earth’s surface. Magma is a hot liquid substance that boils at hundreds of degrees
inside earth’s core. That heat makes it expand and rise, filling the gaps and cracks while at the same time cools down and creates a kind of rock that is called granite.

To extract granite, they have to separate it from sedimentary rock that covers it and in the process avoid any damage from the extraction.

Workers delineate a section of the granite wall a hundred feet long and twenty five feet wide. After marking the section they drill holes twenty five feet deep at a short distance from each other.

They use explosive ropes fed into the holes and set them off at the same time. The explosion separate the block from the granite wall. This huge piece has to be reduced into more manageable blocks like ten feet long by five feet wide and five feet deep, they do that using drills, plates and wedges.

Now the smaller blocks are transported to factories to convert them into slabs. Utilizing a giant saw made of synthetic diamond particles, they cut slabs at two inches apart. The whole cutting process is cooled down by water to prevent overheating.
The saw cuts less than twenty square feet of material per hour.

But for kitchen countertops less than 2 inches is required. For that they used multiple saws made of steel blade and calibrated to make the cut as straight as it gets. It takes three days to complete obtain slabs from a single block.

After a slab is obtained, it must be polished. This procedure will bring all the features and colors out of the rock. They use about twenty rotary abrasive heads that wet-sand the surface. They abrasive grit gets smaller down the line. This way about ten square feet of granite is polished per minute. For a complete smooth finish they use all the heads available, otherwise if a semi-gloss is desired they use only ten.

After the polishing is completed, they cut the slabs to final specifications.

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