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What We Do

For now Alaturca quarrying is carried out by different methods and equipment, such as hand tools, explosives, or power saws, and by channelling and wedging, according to the purpose for which the stone is extracted. Hand tools alone may be used for quarrying stone that lies in easily accessible beds.

The principal hand tools are the drill, hammer, and wedge. A row of holes several centimetres apart is made with the drill and the hand hammer, partly through the layer, or stratum, perpendicular to its plane of stratification and along the line at which it is desired to break the stone. Each hole in a long row is filled with three wedges, shaped so that one may be driven down through the others, the method being known as plug and feathers; by striking each plug a sharp blow with a hammer, hitting them in succession, and by repeating the operation several times, the combined splitting force of the plugs and feathers finally becomes great enough to rupture the rock.

Explosives are most commonly employed for detaching large Natural blocks of stone, which are then split and broken into smaller Natural stones by wedges or by the plug-and-feathers method, or crushed by a heavy steel ball weighing several tons. In this method of quarrying, the drill holes are put down to the depth to which it is required to break the rock and are then partly filled with some explosive that is discharged by the usual methods of blasting. To obtain finely crushed stones for concrete, primary crushers, of the jaw or gyratory type, and secondary crushers are used to reduce the size of the rocks. Channelling is the process of cutting long, narrow channels in rock to free the sides of large blocks of stone. Channelling machines, or chandlers, formerly steam driven, have now been generally replaced by gasoline or electric engines. These are self-propelling and move a cutting edge back and forth along the line on a rock bed on which the channel cut is to be made. The channel cut is sunk deep enough to permit the insertion of wedges by which the rock is split, the cut or groove guiding the fracture.

The channelling and wedging process of quarrying is extensively used in quarrying Natural stone travertine , marble, sandstone, limestone, and the other softer rocks, but is not successful for granite and other hard rocks. Another method of cutting is by the combination of a power saw, an abrasive, and water as a lubricant and a coolant. The saw cuts a narrow channel, the primary or initial cut, that is then either expanded by a wedge or is blasted. This method is used in slate, granite, and limestone quarries.

An automatic channel burner has recently come into commercial use in dimension-stone quarrying. It resembles a handheld burner held vertically in a frame, with an electric motor moving the whole unit slowly down a track. It makes a more even cut, does not require the presence of an operator, and wastes less rock. The unit is controlled by a computer. We take many things in the material world for granted, not realising or appreciating their presence or value. Tiling materials that make up the material world around us come into this unconscious, "invisible" category. Though you see buildings, Stair case , footpaths and bridges every day, its almost certain that you have never thought about what the materials are, what they are made of, or where they come from. The vast bulk of our built environment is formed from raw materials won from the earth by the extractive industries.Without the raw materials with which to build houses, hospitals, schools, factories, roads, etc, life would certainly be more basic and less comfortable than we presently experience.