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Hartz Stone Blog - The Formation Of Rust In Stone, Iron In Minerals and Stone Restoration

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The Formation Of Rust In Stone, Iron In Minerals and Stone Restoration 
The mean iron content of the earth's crust is 5%. Iron becomes locked in ferromagnesian silicates in rock at the earth's surface mostly as green or black ferrous-ferric iron. There is significant damage to stone outdoors, especially after winters or subjection to other inclement weather patterns. There is damage to Stone by rust that must be fixed through restoration. Steel anchors and bolts inserted into stone or concrete have also caused damage by rust burst wherever there is access to the atmosphere. Similar rust bursts can be observed by the oxidation of pyrite, or indeed wherever rust can develop in the presence of oxygen and moisture.

The exact calculation of the volume expansion from metallic iron to rust is very difficult because most freshly formed rust is a heterogeneous mixture of amorphous and crystalline FeOOH with different degrees of hydration. The theoretical calculations of the volume expansion of the important weatherable iron minerals are approximations and guideline. You can call on a professional stone restoration company or supplier for some good advice on how to find, remove, and replace hidden clamps, cramps, and pins with a magnetometer, if they are damaged by rust, and how to expose them by core drilling for repair, installation of weep holes, creating space for expansion by rust formation, and treatment of still intact iron enclosures with rust proofing materials.

One company that comes to mind for stone repair and restoration is BonStone Materials Corporation. They have a full line of restoration products for epoxy packaging solutions, patching, stone repair compounds, stone bonding applications, and even a stone Repair Kit. So does Eastern Marble and Granite Supply in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Call either company for advice and supplies.

This is a good time to think about caring for stone representing our historical heritage. Many buildings, cemeteries, and other structures made of stone are in need for restoration. And indeed restoration is often better than replacement or building new. Thank you for reading the publication and your commitment to the stone industry. Call me if I can answer specific questions or if I can help you in any way.

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