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Sandstone
 
     
 

A sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in earth's crust.

 
     
 
SandstonePhysical Properties :: sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand-sizedgrains cemented by clay, silica, carbonate, or ironoxide. In most places, the majority of the constituent grains are quartz. Sandstone often contains other mineral grains such as feldspar or mica, and very small fragments of pre-existing rocks. The hardness of sandstone varies according to the character of the cementing material; quartz sandstones cemented with quartz are the hardest. Sand in which the grains are cemented together by secondary silica calcite is well cemented and hard like a stone.
 
     
 
Use :: Sandstone is widely used in construction and industry. Varieties of sandstone include arkose, which contains feldspar and resembles granite, and graywacke, a gray or sometimes greenish or black rock composed of quartz and feldspar with numerous fragments of other rocks, such as shale, slate, quartzite, granite, and basalt. Sandstone may be crushed to the form of loose sand grains, which can then be put to the same industrial uses as sand.
 
     
 
Color :: commonly gray, buff, red, or brown however, the color of sandstone varies from red, green, yellow, gray and white. The variation is the result of the binding material and its percentage constituent. Buff to brownish; sometimes reddish, due to presence of iron oxides, or greenish, due to presence of glauconite. Green sandstones often contain, in addition to sand and glauconite, fossil shells and iron oxides; those that break apart easily are known as greensands and are sometimes used to replenish depleted potash in soils >> more..
 
     

 
Bronze
 
     
 
Is any of a broad range of copper alloys, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminum (aluminum), or silicon. Bronze is strong and tough and has myriad uses in industry. It was particularly significant in antiquity, giving its name to the Bronze Age. With the exception of steel, bronze is superior to iron in nearly every application. Although bronze develops a patina, it Bronzedoes not oxidize beyond the surface. It is considerably less brittle than iron and has a lower casting temperature. The great civilizations of the old world worked in bronze for art, from the time of the introduction of bronze for edged weapons. The Greeks were the first to scale the figures up to life size. Very few examples exist in good condition of these cast works. The seawater-preserved bronze, now called "The Victorious Athlete" is a fine example but painstaking efforts were required to bring it to its present state for museum display. Far more Roman bronze statues have survived. The ancient Chinese, from at least 1200BC, knew both lost wax casting and section mould casting, and in the Shang dynasty created many large ritual vessels covered with complex decoration which have survived in tombs. Over the long creative period of Egyptian dynastic art, small lost wax bronze figurines were made in large numbers and several thousand of them have been conserved in museum collections. From these beginnings, bronze art has continued to flourish up to the present >> more..
 
     
   
     

 
Terra-Cotta
 
     
 

A hard semi fired waterproof ceramic clay used in pottery, older wastewater drains, and as surface embellishment in building construction. The term is also used to refer to items made out of this material and to its natural, brownish orange color. Terra cotta is a form of hard-baked pottery, widely used in the decorative arts, especially as an architectural material, either in its natural red-brown color, or painted, or with a baked glaze.

The Ancient World: The prevalence of terra-cotta as a medium of artistic expression since the earliest periods of history is indicated by statuettes and vases from predynastic Egypt, polychrome tiles from Assyria and Persia, vases and figures from various Central American pre-Columbian sites, and Terra-CottaChinese vases dating probably from 3000 BC. Terra-cotta first gained importance as an architectural material in classical Greece, where, beginning about the 7th century BC, temples and other structures were often enriched with roof tiles, metopes, acroteria, and various other modeled and painted ornamental features of terra-cotta. Similar roof tiles and ornaments are found in Etruscan and Roman work. Ascompared to bronze sculpture, terra cotta uses a far simpler process for creating the finished work. Reusable mold-making techniques may be used for series production. Compared to marble sculpture and other stonework the finished product is far lighter and may be further glazed to produce objects with color or durable simulations of metal patina. Robust durable works for outdoor use require greater thickness and so will be heavier, with more care needed in the drying of the unfinished piece to prevent cracking as the material shrinks. Structural considerations are similar to those required for stone sculpture >> more..

 
     
   
     

 
Ceramics
 
     
 
Materials made of nonmetallic minerals that have been permanently hardened by firing at a high temperature, or objects made of such materials. Most ceramics resist heat and chemicals and are poor conductors of heat and electricity. Traditional ceramics are made of clay and other natural Ceramicsoccurring materials, while modern high-tech ceramics use silicon carbide, alumina, and other specially purified or synthetic raw materials. Ceramic materials are used in all forms of pottery, from crude earthenware to the finest porcelain, and in industrial and engineering products. Ceramic products include cookware and dinnerware; art objects, such as figurines; building materials, such as brick ; abrasives , such as alumina , and specialized cutting tools; electrical equipment, such as insulators in spark plugs; refractories, such as firebrick and the heat shield on the space shuttle ; and artificial bones and medical devices. The oldest known fired ceramics date from the Paleolithic period some 27,000 years ago >> more..
 
     
   
     
 
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