Basalt

basalt

Basalt is a volcanic rock of magmatic origin that is extremely widespread on Earth. Its unique features make it a popular choice for multiple uses in different industries.

What is basalt?

First of all, what type of rock is basalt? Basalt is a rock of volcanic origin with exceptional properties that make it ideal for a wide range of uses. Its resistance to heat, wear, weather and acids makes it a preferred choice in many industries.
With its abundance on Earth and its versatility, basalt rock will continue to be a valuable resource for humanity in various applications, from construction to art, from transportation to furniture.

Basalt meaning: the definition

Basalt is an extrusive igneous rock, which means that it forms from the solidification of magma on the earth’s surface. Its formation is mainly linked to basaltic lava eruptions.

Basalt composition

Basalt rock is mainly composed of mafic minerals such as plagioclase feldspar and ferromagnesian minerals such as olivine and pyroxene. These minerals give basaltic rock its dark color.

Structure

The structure of basalt stone is characterized by a texture or an arrangement of interconnected crystals, which forms as lava cools rapidly.

Basalt Color

The predominant basalt color is black or dark gray, but there may be lighter or darker variations depending on the mineral composition.

Hardness

Basalt is known for its hardness. Based on the Mohs hardness scale, basalt has a value between 5 and 6, making it harder than most sedimentary rocks but softer than granites and other intrusive igneous rocks.

Density

Basalt rock has an average density that varies between 2.8 and 3.0 g/cm³, depending on its mineral composition.

How many basalt types are there?

types of basalt

Basalt is a rock that can vary slightly in its characteristics depending on its geographical origin and formation conditions. In general terms, two main basalt rocks can be distinguished: alkali basalt and tholeiitic basalt.
Alkali basalt is enriched in alkaline elements such as potassium and sodium and is often associated with volcanic eruptions in areas of the earth’s crust with more active tectonic activity. This type of basalt volcanic stone tends to have a darker appearance and a porous structure.
Tholeiitic basalt, on the other hand, has a different mineralogical composition, with a higher amount of calcium and iron. It is generally found in oceanic areas and less active tectonic plates, and can be paler in appearance than alkali basalt.
Both basalt rocks are characterized by their strength, hardness and durability, making them highly suited to the many applications in which they are employed.

Basalt properties

Heat resistance

Basalt composition makes it exceptionally resistant to heat and high temperatures: an ideal choice for applications requiring thermal resistance.

Wear resistance

Due to its hardness and strength, basalt is highly resistant to wear and tear and can withstand daily friction and abrasion without sustaining significant damage.

Weather resistance

Basalt rock is remarkably resistant to weathering and erosion from elements such as rain, wind and sunlight. This property makes it suitable for outdoor applications.

Acid resistance

Basalt exhibits good resistance to acids, making it useful in environments where contact with acidic substances might occur.

Basalt uses

What is basalt used for?

Basalt composition makes it a rock with extraordinary properties as well as extremely useful in various applications. Thanks to its durability and resistance, it is widely used in the building industry for floors, wall coverings, steps and thresholds. In transportation, basalt stone is used in the construction of roads and sometimes airport runways, as it can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions.
In the industrial field, basalt is valuable for creating wear resistant coatings, pipes and foundry plates. Its qualities also make it ideal for the construction of hydraulic works such as dams and reefs.
In addition to this, basalt rock is appreciated in the furniture sector, producing tables, kitchen tops and interior coverings thanks to its elegant appearance. Even in art and jewelry design, basalt finds space, demonstrating its versatility and the vast range of uses it lends itself to.

Basalt in the building industry

Basalt is used in construction for flooring, wall cladding, steps and thresholds due to its durability and wear resistance.

Roads, Railways and Airports

Basalt finds applications in the construction of roads, railway tracks and airport runways due to its ability to withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions.

Industrial plants

In the industrial field, basalt is used for the construction of wear-resistant linings, pipes and plates for the foundry.

Hydraulic works

Basaltic rock is used in the construction of dams, cliffs and other hydraulic works, where its strength and durability are essential to withstand the action of water.

Furnishings

Thanks to its elegant appearance and the variety of possible finishes, basalt stone is used to produce furnishings such as tables, kitchen tops and interior coverings.

Jewels

The hardness of basalt makes it suitable for making jewelry and ornamental objects.

Fun facts about basalt

It is the most common rock on Earth.

Basalt makes up a large part of the earth’s crust and is found in abundance in different parts of the world.

It forms from the eruption of basaltic lava.

Volcanic eruptions that contain basaltic lava are responsible for how is basalt formed after cooling and solidification.

It is a highly resistant and durable rock.

Its strength makes it an excellent choice for applications that require long life characteristics.

Basalt is a very versatile rock and can be used in many different ways.

Its wide range of properties makes it suitable for a variety of applications in the construction, industrial and artistic fields.

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