Petrography in Natural Stone


Date: Thursday, June 29, 2023
Time: 11:00am-12:00pm ET
Moderator: Chuck Muehlbauer, Technical Director, Natural Stone Institute
Speakers: Scott Scallorn MSAG, Laboratory Manager, Natural Stone Institute
John Walsh, President & Senior Petrographer, Highbridge Materials Consulting, Inc

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Of the various tests and analyses performed on dimension stone, perhaps the least understood and most underutilized is petrographic analysis. Commonly done in accordance with the ASTM C1721 Standard Guide for Petrographic Examination of Dimension Stone procedure, petrographic analyses yield valuable insights into the mineralogical composition, fabric structure, pore configuration, and other information about the stone matrix. From these discoveries, prediction about the stone’s capabilities and vulnerabilities, particularly with respect to weather resistance, can be made. This session provides a thorough description of the steps and processes involved, including the test specimen selection and preparation, macroscopic and microscopic examinations, and x-ray diffraction. The session will wrap up with a discussion of how to interpret the petrographer’s report and what commonly found features in natural stone may represent “red flags” for certain application environments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the benefits and uses of the information provided by a petrographic analysis
  • Learn when and how to properly specify a petrographic analysis for your project
  • Decipher and interpret the rather complex and intimidating terminology used in petrographic reporting
  • Understand the necessity of representative sampling for the analysis




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