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Historical: Mechanized cutting of stone vs. concrete

  1. Aug 23, 2009 #1

    I've just found this forum as I am looking for an answer to a question. For what it's worth, by way of introduction, I am a software and telephony engineer, with interests in aviation, boat design, and energy-efficient houses. I also write when I can.

    Here's my question.

    Plenty of ancient and old structures use cut stone structurally. The Romans (and, I have found with a quick Google) the Egyptians used mortar as a bonding agent, to extend the capabilities of stone and fired brick (fired brick being an Indian invention of about 3000 BC).

    Structural concrete seems to be a 19th-century French invention, and (along with steel) is the usual material for large structures today.

    My question is: Was there ever a culture that used machine-cut stone much? Or did everyone go from natural (or hand-cut) structural stone, to structural concrete and steel, with fired brick for smaller structures? I can't even think of an example of a structure that used machine-sawn stone.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2009 #2
  4. Aug 30, 2009 #3

    Ranger Mike

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    i sell coordinate measurement machines made in Germany..they are made with granite that is mecahnically cut then ground and hand lapped to microns flatness..many components of structures use granite,,all are cut with a diamond rope saw to rough dimensions and machined to tight tolerances..
  5. Sep 15, 2009 #4
    Aberdeen the granite city
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ml5wx/Jonathan_Meades_Off_Kilter_Episode_1/ [Broken]
    About 20 minutes in he goes on about cutting the granite.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Sep 15, 2009 #5


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    The romans had machine cut marble. It's fairly simple to just mount a few saw blades in a frame and move it back-forth with a treadmill.
    It was probably to get uniform thin sheets of marble for decorative use.
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