When dimension stone is used for building construction without full knowledge of its properties, problems such as cracking, spalling, staining and decay can occur. The natural variation and uniqueness that makes the stone so appealing can also bring about variability in physical properties. We can help.
An effective testing program is an essential tool to minimise the problems that can be involved with the use of dimension stone. To ensure total quality control of the material used during a project, a comprehensive testing program can be carried out in three stages:
An initial testing phase will obtain reliable information about the relevant properties of the particular stone that is being considered for use in the project. By being aware of the potential as well as the limitations of dimension stone, the natural characteristics of the stone can be optimised during the design phase.
These tests aid in determining the suitability of a stone type for a specific application and will supply information for use in the design stage:
Modulus of Rupture
Water Absorption and Bulk Specific Gravity
Resistance to Salt Crystallisation (Durability)
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
Resistance to Abrasion
Determination of Deleterious Minerals and Clay Content
Environmental and Accelerated Ageing Tests
Testing for Design
Once the physical properties of the stone have been established, specific testing can be carried out to confirm the behaviour of the unit being considered for use. This testing phase will assist in validating the theoretical design loads and behaviour of the chosen design (e.g. determining the breaking load of segmental pavers).
The tests listed below assist in verifying the chosen design where stone is to be used as a veneer cladding:
Structural Connections Tests
validation of anchor systems
Loss of Polish
Breaking Load of Segmental Pavers
Heat and UV stability
Construction Phase Testing
This testing phase will provide greater confidence that material with properties complying with the specification is being delivered to the project. This phase may include random statistical sampling and testing of finished units or inspection and testing of the raw material before processing. The development of a practical and realistic specification that has a procedure for dealing with non-conforming products is essential to ensure quality construction practices and this will also assist in minimising disputes that may delay construction.
Tests such as Flexural Strength, Water Absorption and Bulk Specific Gravity are examples of basic properties that can be determined quickly and can be used to confirm the delivery of a quality product at the construction phase.
We provide a testing and consulting service that is an asset for the dimension stone industry from “the ground up,” by providing a one-stop testing and consulting service – from the development of the dimension stone resource to the utilisation of the stone at the project level and beyond.
Stone Initiatives can assist you in the development of a quality control program specifically for your project. A range of tests which may be included in a quality control program are listed on the Summary of Our Capabilities page.