Mechanical Properties of Dolomitic Limestone

Written by thomas james
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Mechanical Properties of Dolomitic Limestone
An example of dolomitic limestone. (the limestone rock image by Maria Brzostowska from

Limestone is a common choice for rockeries and other ornamental structures made of rocks due to its low cost relative to granite and the relative ease with which limestone is worked into a chosen shape, as well as the aesthetic properties of dolomitic limestone. Dolomitic limestone is the term used to describe limestone in which a large portion of the limestone has been replaced by the crystalline mineral dolomite.


Density is a measure of the mass of a material per unit volume. Density is an important factor to consider when landscaping as it affects whether subsidence of the land will occur due to the presence of the limestone. In the case of stone density, it is usually measured in units of kilograms per centimetre cubed. Dolomitic limestone has a density of between 2.5 and 2.7 kilograms per centimetre cubed.

Compressive Strength

Compressive strength is a measure of the amount of compressive or 'squeezing' force a material can withstand per unit area before the material undergoes fracture. When manufacturing paving slabs made of dolomitic limestone, an awareness of the compressive strength is necessary as it allows you to avoid making the paving slabs too thin. It is also important when building arches and other structures from dolomitic limestone to consider the compressive strength of the material. Dolomitic limestone has a compressive strength of around 60 to 170 newtons per millimetre squared.

Mohs Hardness

Mohs hardness scale measures the resistance of a material to scratches. Mohs scale is a measure of hardness based on a ranking of different materials, with diamond as the hardest and talc as the softest. The Mohs hardness scale determines how susceptible a material is to scratches and gives an indication of how the material will wear. Mohs hardness scale places limestone at around 3 or 4 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means dolomitic limestone is quite resistant to scratches and will not wear a great deal.

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