Cast Stone, Pre-Cast or Cut Stone?
The numerous options available can make it difficult to choose the proper building materials.
While cut natural stone is beautiful, it may not always have the structural integrity necessary for building construction, and it's nearly impossible to exactly duplicate identical pieces.
Precast concrete is typically stronger than natural cut limestone, but it doesn't have the look of natural cut stone. Cast Stone, on the other hand, solves both of these problems.
Cast Stone can be stronger than precast concrete, and is easily cast to produce identical pieces. It's also more weather resistant than natural stone, and can be cast in numerous colors. That makes Cast Stone an excellent replacement for natural cut limestone, sandstone, brownstone, bluestone, slate, granite, travertine, and other natural building stones.
Cast Stone is so durable, in fact, that US Cast Stone standards provide for a product of "infinite life" - which means in excess of 100 years. This durability comes from less water absorption, resistance to freeze-thaw, and abrasion resistance. That's why it's often specified for use in construction projects by architects and contractors. Most natural stone and precast concrete can't meet the same standards as Cast Stone. That makes Cast Stone the material of choice for many architectural projects.
Basic Material and Standards Comparisons
Cast Stone is an architectural concrete building stone product that consists of Portland cement, fine and coarse aggregates - usually of granite, quartz or limestone, natural or manufactured sands, and high performance chemical admixtures. Many ASTM Standards exist for Cast Stone and all of the raw materials in it. Additional standards for design, performance, sampling and testing of Cast Stone concrete products are published by AIA, CSI, ACI, APA, PCI and UKCSA.
Any architectural masonry product selected for your project should have the following features to ensure durability: Relative high compressive strength. Relative low absorption. Enduring freeze thaw resistance. Inclusion of steel reinforcement to provide tensile and/or flexure strength.
With our stringent quality control program and high production standards, we know that our Cast Stone products exceed architectural requirements for building components. The chart below compares Cast Stone to other types of building products.
|Cast Stone||Finely graded natural stone, sand, color pigment, Portland cement||Yes||Cast in dowel holes, anchor slots, embedded hardware, threaded inserts||Fine grain texture simulates limestone||Architectural trim, facing, ornamentation|
|Architectural Pre cast||Up to 1" aggregate, sand, color pigment, Portland cement||Yes||Cast in weld plates, threaded inserts, slots, dowel holes||Exposed aggregate forms liners, sandblast visible bug holes||Architectural panels, columns, spandrels, structural|
|Limestone||Sedimentary rock of calcium carbonate and/or magnesium||No||cut in dowel holes, slots||Fine grain texture||Architectural trim, facing, ornamentation|
|Calcium Silicate||sand and lime||No||cut in dowel holes, slots||Smooth rocked, press hammered dressed||Architectural veneer, facing, limited size, usually 2' long.|