Alteration dependent physical-mechanical properties of quartz-diorite building stones

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Mining Engineering (DME), Isfahan University of Technology (IUT), Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Mining Engineering (DME), Isfahan University of Technology (IUT), Isfahan, Iran.


The microscopic and geomechanical properties of igneous building stones include the level of alteration, presence of micro cracks, peak strength, porosity, proportion of detrimental minerals, etc. Porosity is reportedly of a devastating impact on the peak strength of igneous rocks. The quartz diorite rock samples in this study were selected from five quarries in Natanz, Iran and subject to microscopic and geomechanical investigations. The level of alteration and the minerals detrimental to the strength of the samples were identified from thin sections. Therefore, the geomechanical tests upon density, porosity, durability index, the Brazilian, and triaxial tests were conducted as per ISRM standards. The findings from microscopic studies reveal that alteration is of more intense impact on rock peak strength compared to that of porosity. The results were compared to standard values and a qualitative correlation between strength and microscopic properties was detected accentuating the importance of microscopic studies on construction stones. The correlation thereupon may be adopted in the exploration, exploitation, and process of construction stones to avoid heavy expenditures and damage to the environment.