Published Online: 28 September 2009
Page Count: 17
Ismael, I. S.
Dept. of Geology, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal Univ., Suez,
Hassan, M. S.
Central Metallurgical Research and Development Institute, Helwan, Cairo,
(Received 2 November 2008; accepted 28 August 2009)
Serpentinites are widely distributed in Egypt, particularly in central and southern parts of the Eastern Desert. There are several inter-related factors that affect the use of serpentinites as dimension stone. These factors involve mineralogical characteristics (including mineral compositions and microstructural parameters), physical properties, and mechanical properties. The main factor identified in this study is orientation of foliation planes in serpentinites. Samples that are selected parallel to foliation planes have higher mechanical properties than those perpendicular to it. Antigorite is the essential serpentinite mineral with minor amounts of chrysotile. Talc, carbonates (magnesite and dolomite), and tremolite are the main associated minerals. Quality and quantity of associated minerals such as talc and carbonates greatly influence the proper use of serpentinites as dimension stone. Studied serpentinites are characterized by relatively small grain size and foliated texture, low water absorption, low porosity, and high abrasion resistance. Physico-mechanical properties of studied serpentinites as well as mineralogical characteristics lead us to conclude that these serpentinites are suitable for specific applications as dimension stone.
Paper ID: JAI102150