THE HARDNESS OF STONE

Marble is a relatively soft stone. On a measurement of hardness (MOHS),

marble is approximately a three out of ten. Marble is made of calcium,

just like your teeth. If you eat something to hard you will break your

tooth. If you eat a lot of sugar you will get a cavity. Stone reacts the

same way. If an improper chemical is applied to the surface, corrosion

will begin to form cavities in the stone.

Listed below is the famous Measurement of Hardness (MOH) Scale for

stone. This is a guide developed in the 1800's which helps evaluate the

strengths and weaknesses of the stone being used. For example, softer

stones would require the use of a less active chemical and a more

frequent dust mopping program.

MEASUREMENT OF HARDNESS SCALE

10 Diamond

9 Corundum

8 Topaz

7 Quartz (Granite)

6 Feldspar (Granite)

5 Apatite

4 Fluorite

3 Calcite (Most Marbles)

2 Gypsum

1 Talc

The objective of the MOH Scale is to measure stones resistance to

hardness. When sediment and grit are harder than the surface, they will

scratch and harm the stone. For example, a piece of hard plastic is

about a 2.0. It will not scratch #3 Calcite (Marble). However, a piece

of sand that measures a 6, will scratch #3 Calcite but will not scratch

#7 Quartz which is Granite. The harder the stone, the more resistant it

is to abrasion. Exterior sediment that is tracked in to buildings

approximately measures from 3.0 to 7.0.

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