Dimension stone

As natural stone is called, generally, all rocks, as found in nature, if they are viewed as an economic good or acquires. Natural stone as sawn or hewn product is referred to as natural stone, natural stone undimensionierter as quarry stone crusher or product.

  • 6.1 Quarrying of stone
  • 6.2 Processing of natural stone
  • 6.3 Common formats of natural stone
  • 6.4 surfaces of natural stone
  • 9.1 Germany
  • 9.2 Switzerland
  • 9.3 Austria
  • 9.4 Europe


A mountain of stone or a rock in nature is certainly colloquially correctly with natural stone. Mineralogists and geologists use the term exclusively natural stone rock; and they define rock as a " mixture of minerals ". If natural stones are considered or processed economically, it is natural stones or rubble. The technical rules for the processing of natural stone the masons and carvers, process the work pieces are written down under others in Germany by DIN 18332. The term natural stone trade union is common. The natural stone DIN does not apply to road construction and paving stone work. In linguistic contrast to the natural stones, the stones produced by the people, for instance bricks are. They are referred to as artificial stones.

Occurrence of natural stones

The natural stones nowadays mainly used in Europe are mostly from India, China, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Scandinavia. The largest regional mining area is located near Rustenburg in South Africa, where the commercial cultivar Impala, a gabbro, is degraded. There are in Germany almost in all provinces regional rock deposits; one of the most important farmed occurrence is the " Jura marble ", a limestone of Eichstätt.

The natural stones used in construction usually comes quarries and are rarely recovered in Germany from gravel pits. In some cases they are collected and on the earth's surface as reading stones for stone masonry.

Name of natural stones

With over thousands of years practiced use of natural stones, it is customary to name each of the grades according to the place of origin or its region of origin ( eg Giallo numidicum ). Certain striking optical properties have also led to pictorial synonym names, such as " cipollino marble " (onion - marble) or " Mandorla marble " ( almond marble for nodular ). These names were quite independent of the geographical origin of rocks with similar decoration use. The situation is similar in some modern petrographic descriptions ( eg breccia - crushed rock ).

Sometimes in the name use also played a role in historical contexts (eg, Giallo antico ), although not always make a clear reference to the place of decomposition significantly. During the Renaissance and Baroque can be observed name labels that have an antique reference, although the so called material did not come from the place of decomposition during the ancient times.

The choice of the trade names of natural stones is also part of the cultural wealth of human history as the posthumous products from these materials yourself you can look at it as a matter of course and enrichment that depleting farms and processors sometimes chose a resounding name for a rock type, it is sometimes the centuries adapting to linguistic habits or even completely changed. The name variants already longer used rocks always subject to linguistic, fashionable, technical, economic and political influences. The situation is similar to the transformations of family and place names.

It is one of the linguistic self-evident truths that are most different names in use for individual types of natural stone. Even the difficult euphony regional designations do modifications make sense and are used in this sense. It is often difficult to clarify only from Europe, why different names in use are (variety differentiation in the quarry, variety differentiation of adjacent quarry areas, regional linguistic characteristics ).

In some cases, an attempt is made with assigning names to build a distribution monopoly. This manifests itself in such a way that when requests for offers only a very specific nature of stone is to provide, through which only one supplier has. Alternative types may not be included in the bidding process, because then threatens exclusion from bidding. This alternative suppliers and alternative rock varieties are excluded from fellow competitors. Some suppliers of natural stone make use of in the above terms of trademark law. This leads to the phenomenon that, for example, the use of the name of the natural stone locations Ajax, a Greek marble, only certain supplier is allowed and a related use or supply by other suppliers is a competition law violation.

The choice of the trade name for natural stones often seems arbitrary and posted on the conduct of the manufacturer or supplier. There are numerous misleading trade names such as the trade names Belgian granite, which is not a granite, but a limestone or a natural stone Caribian Blue, which is not broken in the Caribbean, but in Scandinavia. In some cases, the reasons for the choice of name are understandable.

After the entry into force of the European standards EN 12670: Natural stone - Terminology and EN 12440: Stone - Criteria for the designation, the exact scientific rock label called is next to the trade name, which can be assigned as before arbitrarily by the manufacturer to provide petrographic family. Furthermore, the typical color of the rock and the location information of the area or of the quarry are as accurate as possible, and at least the city or town, the area or country in which the quarry lies specify. Indicate also in tenders, the stone processing, natural features, the petrographic name and geologic age. This is likely to be considerably more difficult the future use of well-known trade names for similar natural stones from completely different regions and with different qualities.

It is intended to EN 12670, to obtain objective and reliable information for a specific rock variety. Whether culturally rooted and regional justified forms of names over the heads of owners, processors and cultural geographies can affect the observed general acceptance will be left to.

Definitions of natural stone

Definition by Release form

Natural stones can be prepared by their appearance at first divided into

Unconsolidated rocks are not natural stones.

Definition, technology

Natural stones can be prepared by technical processing criteria in

This classification is for practice in the workshops stonemason, in the process the building stone manually, mechanically cut or grind, suitable for assessment of mechanical stresses. This classification stone professionals in particular can determine their use of tools. Ultimate statements about the performance characteristics or later installation and use options depend, generally speaking, from the anticipated chemical attacks or by environmental factors, which are exposed to natural stones from. For example, the soft rock dolomite be acid resistant than the hard rock basanite. Also, the water uptake and the weathering behavior can from the distinction ultimately be derived. For the assessment of suitable stone material before installation include profound knowledge gesteinskundliche. Also note: Natural stones are subject to proficiency testing German or European standards (see below), especially if they are put on the market.

Scientific definition

Natural stones can be prepared by scientific criteria, according to their origin ( genesis ), divided into three rock classes.

In science, the term is used exclusively rock. This category can not be transferred to natural stones, as eg salt rock is scientifically classified as rock. Incorporation of salt rock would have in the building industry for many reasons disastrous consequences and it is therefore not used in the field of technology. The same is true for other ' rocks ' of scientific categorization such as chalk, diatomaceous earth, anhydrite, natural gypsum, etc.

Use of natural stone

Natural stones are used both in industry ( cement, gravel, granules), horticulture, interior finishing ( façade cladding, kitchen countertops, vanity tops, stairs, flooring, window sills, stone in general), in the tomb - making, for exterior facades and restoration as well as in of stone carving (monuments, sculptures ) and used as natural stone masonry. If the natural stone used as aggregate, it is called these products cast stone.

Natural stones are mined in quarries and then cut in stone processing plants on degree and worked in terms of the surfaces.

Bumps, color differences and inclusions can not be avoided in natural stone and add to the appeal of a natural stone.

The possible configurations of the stone surfaces of natural stones are dependent on a number of factors, such as the rock family, the thickness of the material, by nature of the individual minerals in the rock, customer, etc. Natural Stone has a wide range of colors and surface finishes, which by any art material be achieved. Natural stones with the same or similar optics can have very different properties. A cheaper granite can have almost the same appearance as a high-quality granite. A common type of marble from Carrara traded, such as Carrara C, can " rust ", another Carrara C is not, despite having the same appearance and the same installation, the yellowish discoloration does not occur. The technical data schemes vary considerably, especially in the points of water absorption and strength. The mere appearance does not say to what extent is a stone for a particular purpose. The different sensitivities and risks can not be seen from the look.

Calcareous natural stones (limestone and marble), gneiss, slate are acid- sensitive and require different care and cleaning than other natural stones when they are installed as a floor covering. Granite and basalt are very hard, firm and often dense natural stones. They are often used in outdoor areas where high stress is. Limestones and marbles are less hard and are generally used indoors or serve the creation of sculptures. Your aesthetic effects are crucial. Still found in many European countries sufficient examples for any use of all types of stone. The question of fitness for a particular purpose is also an aspect of the personal angle. All materials show through the use of their typical signs of aging.

With very few exceptions (eg, oil shale) natural stones belong to flammability class A. Only in public buildings cantilevered stairs are prohibited in natural stone.

A great advantage of the natural stone over other materials is that in the extraction and processing of natural stone at an appreciably lower energy consumption than other materials (eg ceramic tiles) is required.

A wall of split stone blocks

Roman masonry of Hadrian's Wall in England

Plastic from Proconnesian marble

Extraction and processing of natural stone

Quarrying of stone

The extraction of natural stones in quarries is nowadays mainly via wire saws and Schrämen and only in exceptional cases with explosives. Wire saws and saw Schrämen solvent joints into the rock. Are the stone blocks too big or too bulky, they can be formatted using stone splitting tools or wire saws to the appropriate size. The ingots are transported within the quarry either with lattice boom cranes or today, especially with wheel loaders. The removal of the stone processing factories by lorry.

Processing of natural stone

In the stone- processing factories, the raw blocks of frame saws are in plates, depending on the desired thickness, sawed usually 2, 3 or 4 cm. Then the sawn boards are sanded and polished in automated production lines. After this process the plates of stone saws are brought in width and in lengths to the appropriate size. A special path is the production of natural stone tiles 10 mm thick, the. Using special sawing machines, such as multi-blade stone circular saws or saws that drive several saw blades with different blade diameters

Be divided ingots made ​​of hard rocks in tranches ( from 8 cm thick slabs ) for the purpose of manufacturing tomb, block saws are used to drive the circular saw blades with a diameter of up to 3 to 4 m. The block saws have the advantage over the gang saw that they saw better flatness values ​​. This has the advantage that individual subsequent operations may be to polish that are necessary otherwise skipped.

Common formats of natural stone

Flooring Associations and plate formats:

There are more than 300 organizations for floor coverings of natural stone:

  • Roman association with up to 16 different plate formats
  • Rose Spitz
  • Track surface
  • Covering with square plates

The following disk formats are standardized for flooring:

  • Flooring in Railways: 1.5 cm; 2.0 cm, 3.0 cm Thickness: The plates are different in length, but widths of 15.0 cm, 20.0 cm, 25.0 cm, 30.0 cm, 40.0 cm are common.
  • Natural stone tiles with 10 mm Thickness: 30.5 × 30.5 cm; 61.0 × 30.5 cm, 30.0 x 15 cm. Here are other formats available.
  • Natural stone paving: As a large stone paving, small paving, crazy paving between about 18 × 18 and 4 × 4 cm, or as a stone slab next to it in natural form.

Formats for commercial stone ingots:

Formats for stairs are individually:

Formats for Kitchen Countertops:

Automotive fittings:

  • There are cut in 1 mm range rock slides that are deformed and shaped in a special process depending on the car type and be installed in luxury cars.

All other formats can be made ​​individually.

Surfaces of natural stone

Stone surfaces are in demand and produced by visual and functional aspects. Below are some stone surfaces that have been prepared either by hand or machine or with equipment presented.

  • Handcrafted surfaces

Punktgespitzte stone surface ( granite porphyry Beuchaer ) ( pattern 25 × 15 cm)

Gebeilte stone surface from Obernkirchener sandstone pattern about 25 × 15 cm

Scharrierte stone surface of sandstone

Bushhammered stone surface from granite porphyry Beuchaer ( pattern 25 × 15 cm)

  • Produced with machinery or equipment surfaces

Milled stone surface of sandstone (sample 25 × 15 cm)

Polished stone surface of the Serizzo ( gneiss, Switzerland, (sample 25 × 15 cm)

Polished surface of gneiss called Hallandia (Sweden)

Polished surface stone ( granite porphyry Beuchaer ) ( pattern 25 × 15 cm)

Flame-treated stone surface ( Serizzo ) ( pattern 25 × 15 cm)

Flame-treated stone surface (Ruhr sandstone), (sample about 24 × 14 cm)

Sandblasted surface Ruhr sandstone (sample about 24 × 15 cm)

Standards for natural stone


  • DIN 18332 Part C: General technical specifications in construction contracts (ATV ); Natural stone work
  • DIN 18516-3 external wall cladding ventilated; Part 3: Natural stone, requirements, design


  • ÖNORM B 2213 Masonry and stone work - work contract standard


  • SIA 118/246 General conditions for natural stone work


  • Terms and Definitions: EN 12670 Natural stone - Terminology
  • EN 12440 Natural stone - Criteria for Designation
  • Testing standards for natural stone: EN 1341 natural stone tiles for outdoor applications - Requirements and test methods
  • EN 1342 paving stones ( stone ) for external paving - Requirements and test methods
  • EN 1343 Kerbs of natural stone for external paving - Requirements and test methods
  • EN 1925 Natural stone test methods - Determination of water absorption coefficient by capillarity
  • EN 1926 Natural stone test methods - Determination of compressive strength
  • EN 1936 Natural stone test - Determination of real density and apparent density, and of total and open porosity
  • EN 12370 Natural stone test methods - Determination of resistance to salt crystallisation
  • EN 12371 Natural stone test - Determination of frost resistance
  • EN 12372 Natural stone test methods - Determination of flexural strength under concentrated load
  • EN 13161 Natural stone test methods - Determination of flexural strength under third line load
  • EN 13364 Natural stone test - Determination of the breaking load at dowel hole
  • EN 13755 Natural stone test methods - Determination of water absorption at atmospheric pressure
  • EN 14157 Natural stone test methods - Determination of resistance to wear
  • EN 14231 Natural stone test methods - Determination of the slip resistance by means of the Pendelprüfgerätes
  • Product standards: EN 771-6 Specification for masonry units - natural stones
  • EN 1467 ingots
  • EN 1468/2 finished products ( slabs )
  • EN 1469 finished goods, clothing plates ( front plates)
  • EN 12057 Manufactured goods, tiles
  • EN 12058 floorboards and stairs
  • EN 12059 Manufactured goods, bricks for stone work (draft)

Representations of the history of natural stone mining and collections

The natural stones are similar to the set up from them buildings and monuments own degradation and land use history. Some institutions learn about the history and technology of natural stone degradation. They are found preferably in regions with significant traditions of stone extraction. In Europe, there are different places, such as in Havixbeck the Baumberger sandstone museum Häslich the show and Museum of the granite industry, the green sandstone Museum Soest, the Lahn Marble Museum in Villmar, the Stone Museum Solothurn, in Bellignies the Musée du Marbre et de la Pierre Bleue ( Museum of marble and blue stone ), in the Swedish towns Hunnebostrand and Vånevik each one Stenhuggarmuseum ( Steinhauer Museum ), the Museo di Storia Naturale Accademia dei Fisiocritici ( Museum of Natural History ) in Siena and the Museo del Marmo ( Museum of marble ) in Botticino Mattina.

An international acting organizations dealing scientifically with the ancient natural stone mining and its applications, is the ASMOSIA. Furthermore, numerous universities are inquiring active in this sector.

Worldwide, only a few natural stone collections are publicly available. These include the collections of the Natural History Museum in Vienna, the German Natural Stone Archives and the Smithsonian Institution. The present building and decorative stone collection of the Natural History Museum of Vienna was in 1878 with a gift and was built by Felix Karrer on. By 1890 they already comprised 7000 samples. They all are among the largest of its kind addition to numerous other institutional collections there are also private collections with special emphasis on collection. Often devote smaller collections regional and special topics.

Natural stone trade associations


In Germany, the trade associations for natural stone to share in industry and crafts. There is the Federal Association of German stonemasons based in Frankfurt am Main, which is divided into 16 regional country guilds. The Federation represents the interests of the stonemasons and sculptors craft. The German Natural Stone Association, based in Würzburg organized the West German stone industries. Both organizations have a common umbrella organization of the Central Association of German Natural Stone Industry ( ZDNW ).


The Association of Swiss sculptor and stonemason - VSBS in Switzerland are represented against the occupation-specific interests of sculptors and stone industries in the public and the authorities. The Natural Stone Association Switzerland - NVS organizes the natural stone processing industry. In Switzerland there is the Association of Pro stone Switzerland as an umbrella organization with headquarters in Bern, which is composed of trade and industry as well as from other organizations such as the Pflästerern and the stone dressings of the French- and Italian-speaking Switzerland.


The craft shops are organized in Austria in the Austrian Federal Guild of Stonemasons at the Chamber of Commerce Austria. The stone industry companies in Austria are represented in the Association of Austrian Natursteinwerke based in Linz.


In Europe, several countries have to a natural stone Euroroc Association ( European Federation of Dimension Stone) joined forces to befriend the interests of European natural stone industry. They are. , The natural stone trade associations of the countries Germany, Finland, Italy, Norway, Austria, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

Natural stone fairs

In Europe, there are numerous natural stone fairs. The two biggest trade fairs are the natural stone fair " stone tec " in Nuremberg and the Natursteinmese " MARMOMACC " in Verona Another trade fair takes place every two years in Carrara. Furthermore, in England is the " Stone Show " in London and Poland, " Internation Fair of Stone and Stone maschinery " in Wroclaw ( Breslau)