Quality of steam sauna depends on our stone choice and how long the steam-room temperature regime and sauna procedure takes place. When choosing sauna stones, it is important to have regard to a couple of aspects. The first important condition – high density is inherent in sauna stones. The denser the stone, the higher heat capacity and the more heat is maintained. This is necessary for longterm heat saving and one-time air heating. The second condition – the seamlessness of stone structure, due to which the water may end up in cracks. This stone quality determines their safe usage and the non-existence of stone dust in the sauna-room’s air. The heat capacity of stones is also important – the capability to accumulate and maintain heat for a long time.
The stones used in saunas must be clean and safe for health, it is best to use natural mineral materials, e.g., diabase, peridotite, talkochlorite and jade stone. Diabase is the lightest and cheapest of stones. Talkochlorite is the most suitable stone for saunas, which has the same wave length of human heat radiation. Which is why talkochlorite provides soft warmth and steam. The stone is nice looking, light grey colour. Jade stone is semi-precious with a high quantity of heat, very sturdy, beautiful and costly. In the past, jade stone was valued the most for its therapeutic capabilities. It normalizes the bloodpressure, strenghtens and increases the elasticity of blood-vessels, heals kidneys and urinal tracts.
In this article, we will discuss more about soapstone’s (talkochlorite) qualities and advantages when using it in saunas.
Soap stone and its qualities
Soap stone has unique qualities – it has high heat accumulation properties. This stone can resist heat up to 1,600° C and is environment friendly material, and the area of its application is very wide. Our ancestors used this stone in saunas, but after noticing its exceptional qualities, they started to use it in furnaces. In this time and age, this allows to save up on electricty and fuel costs.
The largest depostis of soapstone rocks are in Eastern Finland, Carelia (Russia) and in Ural Mountains. The industry has started to use products made from soapstone powder, especially when manufacturing electric insulation and fire resistant materials. Soapstone is largely used in building blast furnaces in factories, because this stone is very fire resistant.
- Natural soapstone has soft heat radiation, which is why it is so pleasant to use it in sauna. Soapstone positively affects the human organism: helps to heal cold and betters the immunity. Various inflammations easily and and blood pressure decreases.
- Soapstone gives back heat slowly and longly. This is because it is a poor heat conductor (as well as electricity’s, but this is not relavant for saunas). Thermal resistence, thermal input and thermal conductivity of any furnace heater are the most important.
- Furnace made from soapstone maintains a stable level of moisture and temperature in a sauna.
- Soapstone is such clean and ecologic stone, that in Finland and Baltic countries it was used to make pans.
- The chemical resistence of the stone is exceptionally high. However, it is not applied to strong acids, because very strong alkalines may damage its surface.
- Manoma, kad muilo akmuo turi vyrišką energiją Yang. Remiantis šia teorija, akmuo stimuliuoja smegenis, todėl padidėja koncentracija, pagerėja mąstymas ir išnyksta depresija.
Chemical composition of talkochlorite:
- Talko 40%-50%;
- Magnezite 40%-50%;
- Chlorite 5%-8%.
Technical properties of soapstone:
- Volumetric weight: 2980 kg/m³;
- Melting point: 1630-1640° С;
- Specific heat input: 0,98 Kj/Kg° C;
- Heat conductivity: 6 W/MK.
Soapstone and its positive qualities:
- Natural material and has more heat;
- Resistant to temperature changes;
- Decorates sauna as finishing material;
- Does not absorb moisture;
- Material is not slippery and pleasant to walk on with bear feet;
- Creates soft steam;
- Very texturized;
- Perfectly fits with wood;
- Shows unique design of the interior;
- Soapstone is favourited among sauna lovers and is popular in the market;
- Having regard to tis qualities, soapstone is ideal for Russian or Turkish baths;
- Does not have heavy infrared rays;
- Soapstone is chemically neutral material;
- When heated, has healing properties;
- Increases sound insulation.
Soapstone is a material that passed all of the necessary scientific and practical tests and is acknowledged to be the best out of all naturla materials used in the temperature’s cyclic regime up to +1,200° C. Because it is easy to process, soapstone is longlived and has high thermal properties, and is perfect material for buildings and furnaces with thermal stability. Having regard to rare properties of this stone, soapstone is not only used for the manufacture of furnaces or fireplaces. During the eighties, in the Baltic countries, it was vastly used in the manufacture of warm floors. By using the soapstone, you can create a unique atmosphere in a sauna. It also looks impressive as finishing in a leisure-room.