Serpentine is naturally occurring stone formed at extreme depths in the ocean. Magma escaping through cracks in the ocean floor at temperatures exceeding 500°c is cooled swiftly to yield this deep green stone. It is either found plain, or having a distinct strong white or light green veining pattern, and gives a neutral grey tone appearance in its outdoor finishes when dry.
Chemically, Serpentine is a magnesium silicate based stone. This makes it more acid and abrasion resistant than calcite based stones/minerals like marble. Serpentine also contains trace amounts of metallic compounds, which cause brilliant reflections that give it a vibrant look unlike other stones.
Physically, it is a high density and high hardness material, close to zero rate of moisture absorption, which is a desirable aspect for outdoor applications. As a surfacing material, it has greater acid resistance, more hardness and less porosity when compared to most types of granites. These properties coupled with its high bending strength make serpentine an excellent choice for exterior applications. Serpentine can be used for pools, driveways, facade cladding, barbeque counters, etc., in a variety of semi poloished and rough finishes like sandblasted, bush-hammered, honed, etc.
Serpentine is a less common option available in the category of natural stones that are known for their durability and low-maintenance. It has now started attracting architects, designers and builders, who like experimenting with unconventional options but at the same time are mindful about usability and durability aspects.
Serpentine has been implemented in several projects worldwide; you can have a look of its visible applications in Worldwide applications.
Its chemical properties are shown below in a comparison chart along with other types of stones that are being commonly used for outdoor application: