Limestone is greatly used in architecture as it is easily obtained, cut and carved. Limestone rocks contain flint, clay, sand and calcite in varying amounts. It is also preferred by most of the people in architecture and decoration, as it is long lasting and does well in every climatic condition. Calcareous sedimentary rocks are known as limestone and they are composed of the mineral calcite. When calcite’s calcination is done, it gives lime as a product. In nature, limestone is available in various purity levels, depending upon the other minerals present with it. For example, if some limestone is present with more than 10% of dolomite, it is called as dolomite limestone and same goes for magnesium limestone too. When limestone is recrystallised and polished, it becomes a decorative and building stone called “marble”. Limestone has been given different names depending upon its texture, mode of occurrence and foraminifera remains, etc. Limestone is a soft and porous stone which is usually composed of tiny fossils and bits of shells, which are easily visible. It is an oft-mined rock, commonly used in a number of applications. As such, much against the popular belief, the use of limestone is not restricted to only architecture. Find out various uses of limestone in the lines below.
Different Uses Of Limestone
- It is largely used for roadbeds (crushed) and building constructions. Also it is widely used for cement manufacture.
- They are one of the primary materials in architecture. Example of this is the world renowned Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. This awe-inspiring structure is made from limestone.
- Skyscrapers make use of limestone on the thin sheets as a façade to cover them rather than solid blocks.
- Limestone is a producer of quicklime and slaked lime.
- It is widely used for the production of Portland cement and mortar. Limestone is burnt to create lime, along with other raw materials ash and sand. Together, they form a product called clinker. Clinker is then mixed with gypsum and crushed to form a powdery mixture. This powder when mixed with water creates cement, which, in turn, is used to make concrete.
- Pulverized limestone acts as a soil conditioner which reduces acid soil conditions.
- Limestone is also used for glass making.
- The minerals such as calcite and dolomite found with limestone are greatly used in the process of manufacture of various products like paper, detergent, baking soda, textiles, glass, etc.
- Limestone is also used in toothpastes. It acts as a filler and white pigment.
- The minerals found in limestone are also used in pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, paint, cosmetic products, etc.
- The powder of limestone is used to coal mine dust and to collect sulfur dioxide from the power plants,
- Limestone also contributes in making steel. It also purifies molten glass and iron.
- Limestone, when heated, gives lime which is used to neutralize acids. Also, lime is used to treat wastewater, animal waste, industrial sludge and water supplies.
- Lime is also used to control odor by filtering the water.
- Lime is used as a chemical agent known as flux. Flux removes phosphorous, sulfur and silica from the steel, making it more pure.
- The limestone used in agriculture is called as aglime. It is a form of pulverized limestone, which is added to the fields. It neutralizes the acidity present in the soil. Also, it increases the amount of crops grown and prevents soil erosion.
- Aglime made out of dolomite is composed of calcium carbonate, which also adds calcium and magnesium to the soil. They both help the crop to absorb water as well as nutrients better.
- The limestone is minced, crushed, broken up, washed and stockpiled to make an aggregate out of it. This aggregate is used to construct almost anything from homes to highways.
Shocked to learn the various uses of limestone? Hope this article has broadened your perspective about limestone, which apart from architecture and decoration, is used in numerous other applications.