Construction is an activity by which an infrastructure is built or assembled. It’s a very labor intensive task and involves various sub disciplines. Many engineers, contractors, supervisors and workers are involved in construction of a large scale. Various materials and resources are used in construction. Steel bars, concrete, sand, limestone, granite and wood make up for bulk of materials used.
Limestone is one particular material which has a rich history in the field of construction. Limestone is a mineral based sedimentary rock mainly made up of calcium carbonate. Marble, chalk, travertine, tufa, lime shell, coral and marl are all different types of limestone each possessing distinct physical properties. In construction limestone is used both directly and indirectly. It is used in manufacture of concrete and other construction materials.
Limestone has been in use since ancient times for construction. It is naturally abundant in all areas around the world. Ancient monuments in India, Greece and other civilizations are evidence that limestone has been used extensively in construction of temples, cities and even palaces. High calcium recrystallized limestone is polished and used as decoration and in building stone. The Taj Mahal is the best example of such construction. It’s almost made entirely of marble a kind of limestone. The great pyramids are another ancient example. For its construction limestone block each weighing more than 40 tones where placed one over the other. It’s a constructional wonder which is unmatched even to this day.
Naturally, limestone gets easily eroded by the action of flowing water. This has led to development of many natural limestone structures. Most cave systems are formed due to this natural process of water erosion. Limestones close to oceans are eroded in a similar manner but by small organisms, this type of limestone erosion is known as bio erosion. Many fossils have also been found in limestone.
In modern construction, limestone is used as alternative base in the construction of roads. Unlike the conventional base for roads limestone is cheaply available. Limestone statues and sculptures are very popular form of art. Since working on limestone is very easy compared to other hard materials many artists prefer limestone. Millions of tons of Construction limestone are quarried each year. The method used to quarry various with the cost of the stone involved. Cheap construction limestone is quarried using dynamite, this is then shipped out. It’s used mainly in concrete and mortar production. Costlier varieties are excavated manually and are used mostly for art. The world's largest limestone quarry is at Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company in Rogers City, Michigan.
Tips and comments
Limestone is the most widely used construction material. Due to high demand limestone quarrying is carried out extensively in many locations. To earn a living and make profits certain people go to the extreme extent, thus causing imbalance in the local ecology. There have been many laws passed around the world to limit the amount of construction limestone quarried every day. People must understand the importance of this resource and strive to use it properly without damaging the delicate ecosystems.