How hard is sandstone?


Quick Answer

Sandstone is hard and strong enough to be used regularly in cut stone construction, but its compressive and tensile strengths vary depending on the grade of the sandstone and the type of force or pressure applied. It is also used regularly in road building in crushed form.

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Full Answer

Sandstone is, in geological terms, an aquifer. It is a porous stone that holds a great deal of water. It occurs in a large variety of grades including bluestone, quartzose sandstone and arkosic sandstone, which is rich in feldspar. These grades are variously durable and serve a number of discrete purposes.

Sandstone has, on average, a specific gravity of 2.2 as compared to an equal volume of water. It has a mass density of 4,850 pounds per cubic feet. This makes it ideally suited for use in large-scale construction where its relative lightness and durability enable ease of transport and a long effective lifespan.

Sandstone is lithified sand compacted over a period of centuries by tidal forces and gravity's pull. This process transforms it from loose, wet sand into dense stone which can be used in a variety of commercial and architectural enterprises. Broken down, sandstone is very useful in the construction of highways where a strong stone that can hold its form once broken and set is needed.

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