Processing of Marble Slabs and Equipment Requirements
Number of marble samples was tested in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral resources (MEMR) labs and the results indicated that the marble outcrops in the MOU area is of high quality. The first step to finding the perfect slab is finding an optimal deposit of material with desirable color; pattern, and composition, outcrops are more easily examined since the bedrock is exposed.
The fabrication area is a big warehouse where the slabs of marble are cut with steel blades with the help of hydraulic lifts. Once blocks of stone reach the processing facility, they are cut down into smaller and more manageable pieces. A gang saw works just like a giant bread slicer, with many adjustable blades that allow for the thickness of the slabs to be adjusted. The gang saw can cut the entire block of stone into slabs at one time. Then the marble small pieces are to be taken carefully to the finishing and polishing room for further processing.
Polishing and sealing is the main procedure in marble fabrication as it defines the true value of marble. Then they pass under polishing heads which begin with very coarse diamond abrasives, and then move to finer and finer grit abrasives, just like sanding wood. Polished marbles are then taken for a uniform spray of epoxy sealer on the surface of the stone and dried under heat lamps for 48 hours. Finished marble is send to the retailers and sellers to their respective location for further
- Gantry equipped to handle the unloading of rough marble block.
- Dressing Machines - Dressing of marble blocks in rectangle shape before cutting the block into slab.
- Gang Saw Machines used for Sawing of marble blocks into slabs.
- Transfer Car which is Equipped with Gangsaw machine is used for shifting of trolley.
- Automatic Resin Treatment Plants (SCI Italy) (30 slab/hr & 40 slab/hr) used for Resin treatment on the slabs.
- Kheda(company name) Grinding machine to grind the epoxy treated slab and then after grinding applying the final epoxy.
- Breton Automatic Polish Line used for Mirror polishing of marble slabs.
- Breton Automatic Bridge cutting machine used for Cutting of marble slabs in accurate desired size and profile.
Processing of marble slabs includes following activities:
1. Receipt of raw marble blocks:
The raw marble blocks received at factoryare unloaded in the gantry yard with the help of Gantry Cranes.
2. Dressing of Marble Blocks:
The dressing machine operator dresses the marble block from all the sides for removal of natural defects.
3. Block reinforcement:
Before sending the fragile rough marble block to gang saw machine for sawing, the blocks are reinforced with fibre glass net and a binding agent. Usually for sides of the block are reinforced. The block is then left for about 24 hours for curing. This process ensures minimum breakage of slabs during the sawing process.
4. Sawing Process:
The dressed and reinforced blocks are shifted to the Gang saw trolley as per the size of the Gang saw machine. The block is fixed on the trolley with a wooden wedge and a mixture of Gypsum with wood wool at the desired angle. The trolley is placed below the blades for sawing.
5. Net-reinforcement of marble slabs:
Glass fibre net is applied on back face of the marble slabs to strengthen the slabs which are fragile and to enable safe handling and transportation. The glass fibre net is peeled off before fixing by the marble masion at the site.
6. Grinding Process:
Rough Grinding of Marble slab - After the 1st stage of epoxy filling the marble slabs are processed in the Grinding Machine and then these processed slabs are shifted to the RESIN line for final epoxy resin treatment.
7. Resin Treatment:
" Most of the colored material have hairline crack, minor cracks, which required to be treated. We have state of art machines to do this job, which enhances the finish of our product. The slabs are first dried in the heating chambers, high quality resin is applied, vacuumization is done to remove air bubbles, the polymerization of the resin is done through heating chambers. This process fills even the invisible cracks and produces one of the best quality possible".
8. Polishing Process:
Polishing process is done with the polishing machine "LEVIBRETON Model KFG 2000/018". The machine is used for making the surface even and then polishing marble slabs for getting a smooth and shiny surface.
Receipt of raw marble blocks
Dressing of Marble Blocks
Net-reinforcement of marble slabs