Color assessment of granitic rocks and implications for their ornamental utilization

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The purpose of this study is to evaluate the factors affecting the assessment of granite color, such as grain size and texture, and to propose a methodology for this task which would reduce the margin of error associated with this procedure. For this purpose, an evaluation was carried out on the color of several granites with different textures used in the dimensional stone industry to highlight the importance of the sample area, the number of measurements per sample and the aperture of the equipment. A colorimeter was used to measure the granite color according to the CIE-L*a*b* and CIE-L*C*abhab systems, in both large slabs and small samples selected in a processing plant of ornamental granites. Granite color characteristics from large slabs had to be obtained with at least 60 shots due to the variation between different slabs. Therefore, several samples are needed for granite characterization. The color of gray granites does not vary significantly. Nevertheless, the more weathered granites show significant differences which are more evident in the b*-parameter, or the yellow–blue component, which allow the use of the colorimeter for quality control. By doing so significant differences among the rock pieces used in a single building can be avoided. There were no significant differences found in the color parameters from distinct apertures. However, due to the heterogeneity of the granite the color is evaluated better with larger apertures.
colour , granite
Color Research & Application, vol 37, nº 5, pp. 375-383