Itacolumite (Flexible Sandstone) From Kaliana, Charkhi Dadri District, Haryana, India
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The objective of this study is to highlight main causes of flexibility in itacolumite from Kaliana Hills, Charkhi Dadri district, Haryana. Results of petrominerological studies, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), 3D analysis of SEM images, and quantitative micro fabric analysis reveal that the intergranular void spaces are significantly higher in more flexible specimen (mean 47.68 μm) relative to less flexible specimen (mean 14.32 μm, i.e., <3 times), whereas, non-flexible sandstones show negligible intergranular void spaces (4.97-6.40 μm). Therefore, it may be envisaged that the flexibility in Kaliana itacolumite is due to the presence of more intergranular void spaces. The chemical corrosion appears to be the main reason for the formation of more void spaces in between the constituent grains in the flexible sandstones. Leaching effect on the grains is evident on scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images. These solution channels and embayment might have removed the significant amount of cementing material and silica by dissolution and solution activity. Thus, obviously, the flexibility in the itacolumite was induced by solution activity, more the solution activity, more the void spaces and hence more resultant flexibility. Almost vertically dipping beds of sandstone would have facilitated capillary movement and solutioning leading to development of concomitant leaching induced porosity.
Higher degree of flexibility in itacolumite specimen from quarry dump, compared to in-situ fresh itacolumite specimen, is apparently due to more exposure of former to surface processes like weathering, more solution activity and corrosion leading to more removal of cementing material and silica accompanied by concomitant augmentation of considerable intergranular void spaces (>3 times), relative to the latter. It is thus clear that relatively less flexibility in in-situ itacolumite is linked with its less solutioning relative to itacolumite from dump. Thermal shock resistance property of itacolumite can be used as a model material to process synthetic flexible ceramics by mixing phases with large differences of thermal expansion properties.
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