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Comparing Marble & Granite

Comparing Granite & Marble

Both granite and marble have been used in the construction of fascinating buildings. Both materials are processed in stone fabrication shops that make use of stone water treatment equipment and various dust collection machines. Monumental architecture is made up of these two natural stone materials. And yet they are so different from one another. Perhaps that is why each one has made its mark on the architectural landscape over the centuries. In this post, we will delve into comparing marble and granite. Along the way, we will consider what makes these materials different from one another. We will also look at the make up of each material. Finally, we will mention some of the use cases for each of these natural stones.

Elegance of Marble

When you begin researching marble, you soon find that there are a number of things that make it both unique and desirable. In fact, each stone is unique and differs from every other slab. Even two slabs cut from the same stone will be unique.

Marble is also desirable. The natural veining that marks many marble stones is a trait that buyers adore and are willing to pay to have. Marble consists of a significant amount of calcite and therefore has a glistening characteristic to it. This is because calcite is crystalline. That quality makes it sort of “shimmer” when light interacts with it. In fact, a polished marble slab could even be called “shiny”.

Marble’s Softer Side

As far as rock goes, marble is relatively soft; registering at 3 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This makes it easy to work with if the proper diamond tools are used to cut, grind, and drill this material.

The soft look of marble is also desirable. The lighter colors are considered the purest of the selection and white marble in particular is highly appreciated by buyers. So even in its coloring, you will find that many projects are made of light colored marble. Yet, there are some very notable and impressive designs that have been constructed using dark colored marble.

Granite is Sturdy & Durable

Granite, like marble, is a popular natural stone. It too has a reputation for being unique and desirable. It is also a very popular stone for use in architectural projects and statues. This natural stone’s unique qualities feature rich, deep coloring and it too is available in a variety of colors ranging from light to dark.

Granite is made up mainly of quartz and feldspar. Like marble it can be polished to a high shine that is very appealing to the eyes and people desire it for use in a number of design styles.

Since granite contains a high amount of quartz it is hard stone that registers from 5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. However, it is used for statues, flooring, wall cladding, and kitchen countertops. In fact, its hardness and mineral content make it a popular choice for many natural stone projects.

Granite Compared to Marble

So, how does marble compare to granite? Well, there are some similarities and there are some differences between the two. As we have already mentioned marble has a “hardness” of 3 whereas granite has a “hardness” ranging from 5 to 7. So granite is much harder than marble if you compare them. The appearance is different too. Granite has a more “granular” look to it than does marble. Additionally, the colors within granite stone tend to have higher “contrast” among them whereas the color variations in a marble slab are “gentler” and do not vary as much.

The mineral content makes them different in another important way. They resist different substances. For example, the calcite in marble reacts with acids and is dissolved by it. This means that marble requires additional care when it is used as a kitchen countertop. That is not to say that marble cannot be use in this way, it just means that added care is needed. For instance, marble kitchen and bathroom countertops need to have sealer applied regularly to protect against not only stains, but also etching. If marble is etched, it requires a high quality etch remover. Additionally, they must be cleaned using a daily cleaner that has a neutral pH so it does not break down the sealer.

Stone Sealer Doesn’t Make Stone “Stain Proof”

Marble sealer doesn’t make the stone impervious to acids. Rather, it adds a barrier that helps the stone resist longer by slowing the rate at which the stone absorbs surface liquids. This means that acids will dissolve marble even if the marble stone is sealed. But sealed marble gives the owner more time to clean up the spill by slowing down the absorption of liquids.

Granite, on the other hand is not made up of “calcareous” stone, so it is not as susceptible to acids as is marble. Yet it will stain from household liquids. These stains can be removed, but sealing helps to prevent them from occurring. Again, the sealer needs to be added periodically and acidic cleaners will erode the sealer and make the granite susceptible to stains.

Uses for Granite & Marble

There are many uses in which either granite or marble would suffice. In these situations, it is a manner of personal preference. The design may play a role or the color palette could influence the type of stone you select. In either case, it would come down to the choice of the designer. Some of these uses include:

  • Tiles
  • Statues
  • Flooring
  • Tabletops
  • Hand Rails
  • Staircases
  • Wall Panels
  • Countertops
  • Architecture

The above list of use cases does not mean that it neither is better than the other in certain situations. Indeed, you may have a design or an application that one of these material works better in than the other. But for the most part either material can be used in the situations mentioned above; with the understanding that proper care and maintenance needs to be used.

In conclusion, we have seen that comparing granite and marble reveals they have some things in common. Additionally, we have seen that they differ in composition and as a result they are susceptible to various substances that could discolor the material. Yet as we have seen, each of these materials can be used for a number of projects. The question then is, “What stone do you prefer?”

Natural Marble

Natural Marble Information

Marble has been used in the construction of fascinating buildings. Monumental architecture is made up of this natural stone material. Perhaps that is why natural marble has made its mark on the architectural landscape over the centuries. In this post, we will delve into some natural marble information. Along the way, we will consider what makes this natural stone material unique. We will also look at is make up. Finally, we will mention some of the use cases for this natural stone. Continue reading “Natural Marble”

Sources of Silica

Common Sources of Silica

Silica is a term that has been heard by many for a long time. People research it regularly. In fact, searches such as “silica vs. silicone” and “silica free sand” are among the ones we found. The second of those searches reveals that it is often associated with sand. Yet, it is virtually everywhere. That’s why it is important to know about history of silicosis. However in this post we are going to briefly summarize some common sources of silica. Then we will succinctly consider what that means for those working in constructional occupations. Continue reading “Sources of Silica”

Particulates

Particulate Matter

The subject of particulate matter is one that is central to filtration. Filtering the air using dust collection systems for various industries and controlling them using water treatment and recycling systems revolves around this concept. Since filtration involves this type of matter, we will discuss briefly what particulate are and how one specific kind of particulate is closely related to our products. Continue reading “Particulates”

Stationary Masonry Saws

Stationary Masonry Saws & Respirable Crystalline Silica

OSHA requires employers to limit workers exposure to respirable crystalline silica on the job. Hence, the video below and the chart on this page show the standards and requirements necessary for tasks performed using stationary masonry saws. Using these standards helps you with safety while using stationary masonry saws and exposure control.

When used properly these methods effectively limit workers’ exposure to potentially harmful silica dust. The video below shows the method for reducing exposure while using a stationary masonry saw for cutting. However, the same principles apply to any power tools that generate silica dust. In fact, many tools used for cutting and grinding various stone products require safety methods for reducing dust. This is especially true of high dust producing equipment. In the case of stationary masonry equipment, it is necessary to have an exhaust method if the saw is used indoors. Additionally, you may find that water treatment plants for masonry work are helpful as well.

Operating Stationary Masonry Saws Safely

In order to comply with the table below, dust collection systems or other techniques and equipment is used in the immediate work environment to effectively remove dust from an enclosed work space.

Stationary saws effectively control respirable crystalline silica when an integrated water supply mechanism is used properly. Another technique that is effective for use in enclosed areas is the removal of generated dust using an exhaust mechanism. Using a dust collector in the work area can increase the effectiveness of controlling silica dust.

While operating stone cutting equipment, it is important to monitor the equipment for proper condition. Additionally, it is important to maintain the water delivery system and the condition of the saw and blade.

An operator’s checklist can help with maintaining and servicing masonry saws and blades.

Operators Checklist

Operators regularly check the water delivery system and the machine’s condition to ensure proper functionality. They also perform regular maintenance to stationary saws to keep them in good working order. Regular water delivery system checks include:

  • Checking nozzles for damage.
  • Removing clogs.
  • Ensuring proper connections are intact.
  • Dispose of dirty water and waste material properly.

Maintenance tasks often recommended by saw manufacturers often include the following:

  • Replacing basin water as needed.
  • Using the proper type and size of blade.
  • Following the recommended maintenance schedule.
  • Operating the saw with the correct amount of water.
  • Regularly inspecting the the blade and saw for wear and damage.

The following table shows the requirements for controlling respirable crystalline silica.

Specified Exposure Control Methods When Working With Materials Containing Crystalline Silica
Equipment / Task Engineering and Work Practice Control Methods Required Respiratory Protection and Minimum Assigned Protection Factor (APF)
≥ 4 hours/shift > 4 hours/shift
(i) Stationary masonry saws Use saw equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the blade.

Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions to minimize dust emissions.

– When used outdoors None None

Mortar Removal Grinders

Handheld Grinders for Mortar Removal & Respirable Silica

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to limit workers exposure to respirable crystalline silica on the job. Hence, the video below and the chart on this page show the standards and requirements necessary for tasks performed using handheld grinders for mortar removal. Using these standards helps you with handheld grinders for tuckpointing and exposure control.

When used properly these methods effectively limit workers’ exposure to potentially harmful silica dust. The video below shows the method for reducing exposure while using a handheld grinders for tuckpointing. However, the same principles apply to any power tools that generate silica dust. In fact, many tools used for cutting and grinding various stone products require safety methods for reducing dust. This is especially true of high dust producing equipment.

Operating Handhled Grinders Safely

In order to comply with the table below, dust collection systems and techniques must be used in the immediate work environment to effectively remove dust form the area. Dust collection and shroud systems effectively remove dust as it is generated by grinding. Additionally, the dust collector must remvoe dust at an approved rate in line with the length of time the worker is performing the grinding.

The dust collector must also have a filter that with 99% or greater efficiency and a cyclonic pre-separator or filter cleaning mechanism. Additionally, the cyclonic pre-separator and filter cleaning mechanisms prevent debris from building up on the filter and hindering the dust collector’s effectiveness.

Operators Checklist

Operators regularly check the machine’s condition. They also perform regular maintenance to grinders to keep them in good working order. Hence, maintenance tasks often recommended by grinders and dust collector manufacturers often include the following:

  • Clean and replace filters as needed.
  • Do not overfill the waste container.
  • Follow a specific maintenance schedule.
  • Regularly check the dust collection system for signs of damage.
  • Make sure the hose connecting the tool to the vacuum is intact and without kinks or tight bends.

Operators regularly perform these cleaning and maintenance tasks. As a result, this ensures that the equipment performs at it best.

Tuckpointing In An Enclosed Area

Using a handheld grinder for tuckpointing indoors or in an enclosed area requires workers to have an exhaust method for removing dust from the work area. Furthermore, having a way to remove silica dust from the work area minimizes the accumulation of visible airborne dust. As a result, this safety requirement helps to reduce the risk of silicosis from exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust.

Specified Exposure Control Methods When Working With Materials Containing Crystalline Silica
Equipment / Task Engineering and Work Practice Control Methods Required Respiratory Protection and Minimum Assigned Protection Factor (APF)
≥ 4 hours/shift > 4 hours/shift
(xi) Handheld grinders for mortar removal (i.e., tuckpointing) Usa grinder equipped with commercially available shroud and dust collection system

Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions to minimize dust emissions

Dust collector must provide 25 cubic feet per minute (cfm) or gteater of airflow per inch of wheel diameter and have a dilter with 99% or greater efficiency and a cyclonic pre-separator or filter-cleaning mechanism.

APF 10 APF 25

Non-mortar Removal Grinders

Non-mortar Removal Handheld Grinders

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to limit workers exposure to respirable crystalline silica on the job. Hence, the video below and the chart on this page show the standards and requirements necessary for tasks performed using non-mortar removal handheld grinders. Additionally, using these standards helps you with handheld grinders for polishing stone and exposure control.

When used properly these methods effectively limit workers’ exposure to potentially harmful silica dust. The video below shows a method for reducing exposure while using handheld grinders for working stone. However, the same principles apply to any power tools that generate silica dust. In fact, many tools used for cutting and grinding various stone products require safety methods for reducing dust. This is especially true of high dust producing equipment.

Operating Non-mortar Removal Handheld Grinders – Dust Collection

In order to comply with the table below, dust collection systems and techniques must be used in the immediate work environment to effectively remove dust form the area in certain conditions. Dust collection effectively remove dust as it is generated by grinding. Additionally, the dust collector must remove dust at an approved rate in line with the length of time the worker is performing the grinding.

The dust collector must also have a filter that with 99% or greater efficiency and a cyclonic pre-separator or filter cleaning mechanism. Accordingly, the cyclonic pre-separator and filter cleaning mechanisms prevent debris from building up on the filter and hindering the dust collector’s effectiveness.

Operators Checklist

Operators regularly check the machine’s condition. They also perform regular maintenance to non-mortar removal handheld grinders to keep them in good working order. In fact, maintenance tasks are often recommended by grinder and dust collector manufacturers. And these often include the following:

  • Clean and replace filters as needed.
  • Do not overfill the waste container.
  • Follow a specific maintenance schedule.
  • Regularly check the dust collection system and look for signs of damage.
  • Make sure the hose connecting the tool to the vacuum is intact and without kinks or tight bends.

Operators regularly perform these cleaning and maintenance tasks. Additionally,  they ensure that the equipment performs at it best.

Stone Grinders and Integrated Water Delivery

Many handheld grinders have a built-in water delivery system that applies water to the grinding surface. Additionally, this water effectively controls dust when grinding materials containing crystalline silica. Hence, to comply with the requirements shown in the table below, the system must:

  • Have water delivery integrated with the grinder.
  • Continuously feed water to the grinding surface.

Water System Maintenance

It is important to correctly maintain the water delivery system. This is so the grinder stays in good working order and performs well. Furthermore, dust is not effectively controlled when the water delivery system is not functioning properly. In fact, with regular use the water delivery system can come to have one or more of the following issues:

  • Pinched hoses.
  • Cracked or leaky hoses.
  • Clogged water reservoirs.
  • Leaking or clogged nozzles.

Potential problems can develop with the water delivery system of regularly used stone grinders. So it is important to regularly check the following:

Grinder Water Delivery System Checklist

  • Remove any clogs.
  • Check connections.
  • Inspect nozzles for damage.
  • Check that the water supply is sufficient.

Grinder Maintenance

The grinder must be operated and maintained correctly. Therefore it should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions to minimize dust emissions. Manufacturer’s instructions usually specify the following requirements for operation:

  • The amount of water to apply.
  • Inspection for wear and damage.
  • A maintenance schedule to follow.
  • Type and diameter of the grinding wheel to use.

In addition to reducing and minimizing silica dust, any slurry that is produced by the grinder should be effectively cleaned up. Thus, preventing the slurry from drying out and allowing the the silica to become airborne. Furthermore, managing slurry through the use of a stone water treatment plant is effective. This is because they are designed to filter water and reduce costs for disposal.

Requirements Table

Specified Exposure Control Methods When Working With Materials Containing Crystalline Silica
Equipment / Task Engineering and Work Practice Control Methods Required Respiratory Protection and Minimum Assigned Protection Factor (APF)
≥ 4 hours/shift > 4 hours/shift
(xii) Handheld grinders for uses other than mortar removal For tasks performed outdoors only: None None
Use grinder equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the grinding surface.
Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions to minimize dust emissions.
OR
Use grinder equipped with commercially available shroud and dust collection system.

Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions to minimize dust emissions.

Dust collector must provide 25 cubic feet per minute (cfm) or greater of airflow per inch of wheel diamiter and have a filter with 99% or greater efficiency and a cyclonic pre-separator or filter-cleaning mechanism:

– When used outdoors. None None
– When used indoors or in an enclosed area. None APF 10

Handheld stone grinders generate silica dust. Therefore, they require proper use and maintenance. Rather than simply using the equipment without looking for potential issues, operators inspect and maintain these tools. As a result, airborne silica dust is kept to a minimum.

Handheld Power Saws

Controlling Respirable Crystalline Silica

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to limit workers exposure to respirable crystalline silica on the job. Hence, the video below and the chart on this page show the standards and requirements necessary for tasks performed using handheld power saws utilizing any diameter of blade. Using these standards helps you with power saw exposure control.

When used properly these methods effectively limit workers’ exposure to potentially harmful silica dust. The video below shows the method for reducing exposure while using a handheld power saw. However, the same principle applies to any power saw. In fact, many tools used for cutting various stone products require these methods of reducing dust. This is especially true of high dust producing equipment.

Operating Power Saws Safely

In order to comply with the table below, the water delivery system must be integrated with the saw and must continuously feed water to the blade. Furthermore, an integrated water delivery system is one that is supplied by the manufacturer. Additionally, it is one that is developed to be used with that specific make and model of saw. So saws that have been modified do not necessarily meet this requirement.

The operators also makes sure that the amount of water is sufficient to minimize release of visible dust. Therefore it is necessary to regularly check the water source, nozzles and hoses for any damage that might inhibit the flow of water.

Operators Checklist

  • Damaged Nozzle Check
  • Check Water Pressure
  • Remove Clogs
  • Check Connections

Handheld Saw Maintenance

Operators also perform regular maintenance to power saws to keep them in good working order. Maintenance tasks often recommended by saw manufacturers often include the following:

  • Use the proper type and size of blade.
  • Always supply a sufficient amount of water to the blade.
  • Inspect the saw for wear and damage.
  • Follow a regular maintenance schedule.

Cleaning Up Slurry

It is recommended that operators clean up slurry promptly and properly so the water does not dry. Hence, minimizing the potential for silica dust being released into the air. On the other hand, a concrete water treatment plant can effectively simplify the slurry cleanup process.

Power Saw Exposure Control

Specified Exposure Control Methods When Working With Materials Containing Crystalline Silica
Equipment / Task Engineering and Work Practice Control Methods Required Respiratory Protection and Minimum Assigned Protection Factor (APF)
≥ 4 hours/shift > 4 hours/shift
(ii) Handheld power saws (any blade diameter) Use saw equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the blade.

Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions to minimize dust emissions.

– When used outdoors None APF 10
– When used indoors or in an enclosed area. APF 10 APF 10

304 Stainless Steel

AISI 304 Stainless Steel – A Brief Explanation

Constructing industrial equipment requires a range of materials and machinery.  Among the items needed to construct stone fabrication machines and equipment you will find motors, valves, and a host of other pieces, parts, and accessories. Engineers use AISI 304 stainless steel for a Filter Project equipment. In this article we will look at AISI 304 stainless steel and consider what makes it a good choice for our machines.
Continue reading “304 Stainless Steel”