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Gravel vs ballast

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  • Member since
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  • From: Heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 7:13 AM

hbgatsf

 

 
richhotrain

 

 
hbgatsf
 
doctorwayne 

Mike, you (and the OP) obviously missed the information in my first response, detailing the sizes of limestone for blast furnaces and steel-making.

Wayne 

I didn't miss your information.  It was irrelevant to the question I asked.  No other details about how I am going to use it matter.

I wanted to know the difference between the product Woodland Scenics lables as gravel and the product they label as ballast.  Apparantly nobody knows the answer to that so I will try to contact them. 

 

 

I think that your reply to Wayne could have been a little less abrupt. True, it was not an answer to your question, but that often occurs in forum discussion.

 

On another forum, I recently posted a technical question and received no replies. So, in an attempt to humorously post a light hearted reply, I wrote something like "It looks like I stumped the group with my question". It did not go over well.

My only point is, there is no good reason to alienate your audience.

Rich

 

 

 

Wayne stated that I missed his post. I didn't.

I wasn't trying to alienate anyone.  I was anoyed that this thread went off in a direction that was unrelated to what I was trying to learn.  I know a lot about steel making and didn't want to get into that here.  What is used to ballast track on the prototype isn't what I was looking for either.  I wanted to know the composition of the products Woodland Scenics puts in the containers.

Abrupt comes from responding via cell phone which I hate typing on.  I need to learn to only get into these discussions when I am on the computer.

Rick

 

I read your question and didn't detect if you were asking about possibly two different components (materials?), one component for ballast and one component for gravel.

Your question......  I need something to represent limestone that is ready to be fed into a blast furnace. On another board I saw where someone used WS buff ballast.  WS also has buff gravel. What's the difference between these products?

.......talked about uses (blast furnace, aka steel making) and color. 

Are you asking, do the WS products represent limestone?

- Douglas

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  • From: Heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 7:24 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
Doughless
Southern Indiana is/was dotted with limestone quarries and is well known as having some of the most desirable limestone because of its color and evenness...no veins.

 

The Indiana limestone products are generally considered the absolute best. I have been told the stone mined from these quarries was often processed like marble. Sawn into slabs or blocks for construction because of its beauty.

Not like the yucky stuff we mine down here that is only good for crushing, washing, sorting, and selling by the cubic yard in small chunks.

-Kevin

 

I remember the Pentagon and the Empire State Building being built from Bedford Stone.  The Empire Quarry, the quarry specifically dug for the ESB, is overgrown but is still a bit of a tourist attraction.

Empire Quarry – Bloomington, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

But Bedford Stone was also used in many more prominent places in the USA.

Indiana Limestone - Wikipedia

The Monon served the quarries in the Bloomington/Bedford area.

BTW, I think alomost all industrial grade gravel is actully limestone in one way or another.  Blast furnaces, coal power plant scrubbers, ballast, gravel roads, etc.  I suppose there are granite chips and marbel chips used for specific purposes, but that stone is more expensive to use for general purposes, IMO.

And of course, gravel roads would also be built from whatever material is local.  Wyoming?

I assume the WS products represent different grades of limestone.

- Douglas

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 7:34 AM

Doughless
I assume the WS products represent different grades of limestone.

Which brings us back to Rick's original point: which of the two represents a better 'feedstock' for steelmaking?


As Rick understands the industry, he already knows what material 'can be' used in blast furnaces -- type, size, prep, handling -- and a comparatively simple answer would be to look at the two WS 'grades' (including measuring the scale size and variability) and pick the one more suitable.  I don't pretend to any great knowledge of practical steelmaking, or of Woodland Scenics ballast dimensions, but I'd think 'buff ballast' represents weathered limestone whereas most feedstock for a modern furnace would be relatively recently crushed/broken and therefore closer to the natural stone color -- perhaps lighter or even white.

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Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 8:06 AM

Doughless

Are you asking, do the WS products represent limestone?

 

 
No.  I am asking what the difference is between WS ballast and WS gravel.  I should have left out the reference to the steel mill and limestone to avoid confusion.
 
Rick
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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 8:18 AM

Hand waving, over here, over here...

Real talus is fractured rock. Fractured by Mother Nature. That's how it gets to the bottom of the cliff face. Small size "scale" Talus would likely be a good representation of stockpiled lime suitable for feeding into a blast furnace. If the plant crushed and burned its own limestone to make lime then the stockpile should contain bigger fractured chunks. WS makes that as talus also. 

We have a large lime plant making quick lime directly from an adjacent  limestone quarry. Adjacent to that us a huge cement plant.  I pass them regularly since our main highway goes right by as it enters the Rockies. I am passing on what I actually see in the prototype lime and cement plants. 

The mountain looks buff. The limestone piled around the plant looks white to light grey. I live within 60 miles of the Rockies. They are pretty much limestone. Let me assure you that limestone mountains come in a very wide variety of colours. The one thing they all have in common is they take on a whitish tinge wherever the rock is broken. Bash a bit of limestone and it goes white where you fracture the surface. Not the whole broken face, just the impact point. Smash it in enough places and the broken pieces start to look pretty white. Crushed limestone looks mainly off-white.

The cement plant adjacent to the lime plant, unsurprisingly, combines the lime with gypsum which also mined deeper into the Rockies not far from here. Our gypsum is pink. Much gypsum used in cement and plaster is white and grey. It not be that the piles I see are not all limestone but I think they are. 

I've not visited the plants but I have driven up the quarry haul road to the limestone face. Once the limestone is cut away from the face of the mountain it is more grey than buff. It travels down to the lime plant "as is" in big and small chunks. There it is crushed and processed before being fed into the lime plant.

I deduce that lime to be fed into a blast furnace would be similar to the output of this plant. Mostly white, tending to grey, after crushing to suitable feedstock sizes. 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 8:27 AM

After unsuccessfully Googling 'woodland scenics gravel versus ballast', and finding nothing, I watched a Woodland Scenics video on the use of its "gravel" to make a road. 

I came to the conclusion that there is no real visual difference between WS gravel and ballast except for the size of the granules. It reminded me of trying to discern the difference between Woodland Scenics Bushes and Underbrush. To my eye, although I use both, I don't see any real difference.

In the WS gravel video, the narrator comments that the gravel is very useful for creating roads, parking lots, and road shoulders. On my HO scale layout, I use Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast for parking lots and country roads because the Fine Ballast granules are smaller than the Medium ballast that I use on my mainline tracks. 

My suggestion to the OP is to purchase a small bag of both Ballast and Gravel and compare the differences and then choose the style that best suits his purposes.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 8:41 AM

hbgatsf

 

 
Doughless

Are you asking, do the WS products represent limestone?

 

 

 
No.  I am asking what the difference is between WS ballast and WS gravel.  I should have left out the reference to the steel mill and limestone to avoid confusion.
 
Rick
 

Ok, and just to clarify, some of us are aware of a company in Arizona that actually obtains and pulverizes the actual rock that's being used on the models.  Pulverized limestone.  Pulverized granite.  etc. For those who want really accurate modeling.

And they use something to make the "pink lady" ballast that is common on the C&NW, maybe even going so far as to obtain the actual stone from the same source as C&NW.

I'm not sure if WS ballast and gravel are both made from the same material.

Is that the difference you're refering to, or "difference" in some other way, like size, color, and potential use?

From WS website:

Gravel is sized to model gravel roads more realistically. Use Accent for shoulders and to model bare spots on roads.

Gravel- 10.8 in3 (176 cm3)
Accent Powder- 1.8 in3 (29.4 cm3)
Coverage: Models a gravel road 14' x 2" (4.26 m x 5.08 cm)

Actual coverage depends on usage.

WS lists descriptions for buff and gray gravel based upon fine and coarse.  The dimensions for fine are above.

And for Ballast:

Realistically model railroad track, crushed rock and stones. Easy to use and colorfast. For any scale.

  • B1373 - Buff Fine Ballast Shaker - 57.7 in3 (945 cm3) - $12.99
-------------------
  • B1380 - Buff Medium Ballast Shaker - 57.7 in3 (945 cm3) - $12.99
-------------------
  • B1387 - Buff Coarse Ballast Shaker - 57.7 in3 (945 cm3) - $12.99
-------------------
  • B73 - Buff Fine Ballast Bag - 21.6 in3 (353 cm3) - $5.99
-------------------
  • B80 - Buff Medium Ballast Bag - 21.6 in3 (353 cm3) - $5.99
-------------------
  • B87 - Buff Coarse Ballast Bag - 21.6 in3 (353 cm3) - $5.99
-------------------

That's it.  Hope that helps.  

But for others who may be curious, I don't know if a blast furnace would use gray or buff, fine or coarse (or medium), gravel or ballast.

 

 

 

- Douglas

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 8:53 AM

Doughless

But for others who may be curious, I don't know if a blast furnace would use gray or buff, fine or coarse (or medium), gravel or ballast. 

The OP did indicate earlier in this thread that he knows "a lot about steel making and didn't want to get into that here". So, I assume that he knows the size and color of what he is looking for.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 8:59 AM

WS measurements are of the quantity of product in each bag rather than the particle size.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 9:07 AM

Lastspikemike

WS measurements are of the quantity of product in each bag rather than the particle size. 

No kidding. That is why I suggested that he buy a small bag of each - - gravel and ballast - - so he can judge for himself.

Alton Junction

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 9:17 AM

Lastspikemike

WS measurements are of the quantity of product in each bag rather than the particle size.

 

Obviously, I didn't read it closely. 

Assuming that size is partly significant to OPs question, I would think particle size should be something that's disclosed, to whatever accuracy can be determined uniformly considering the product is made from crushed "something" likely strained through a grate.

- Douglas

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 9:57 AM

Geez, there's a lot of pee showing up in people's cornflakes suddenly. Indifferent

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 11:36 AM

richhotrain
It reminded me of trying to discern the difference between Woodland Scenics Bushes and Underbrush. To my eye, although I use both, I don't see any real difference.

As far as I can tell, they are exactly the same. 

-Kevin

Happily modeling in HO scale. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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