Our business is pre cast stone – here is some background information on the history of cast stone
What is pre cast stone?
Cast stone is a construction industry term for concrete. The basic mix for cast stone (or concrete) is 1. portland cement 2. sand 3. stones 4. water , these are mixed in varying ratios to make concrete liquid mix. For Pre cast stone, the liquid mix is placed (or cast) into moulds that have the shape of the desired stone piece. Then when the concrete has set it is removed from the mould or form, and it keeps the shape.
What is the history of cast stone?
It is a little vague as to when there were architectural cast stone products, wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_stone ) has the date as being 1138 in France , however there was some form of cast stone was used in Roman times (however more like building elements rather than decorative elements).
The stone industry developed in mainland Europe, and then was driven more in Britain as early as the late 1400’s. Portland cement was patented in 1824 and by the late 1800’s was becoming popular in decorative architectural stone and ornamental stone.
In the 20th century many of the same uses exist for pre cast stone, but now there are new cast stone products such as large wall panels, large flooring and roofing systems that are probably not possible to make in natural stone.
The use of new chemicals created in the 20th century have improved the features of cast stone, and improved the quality and ease of manufacture of cast stone. Even very manual tamped dry cast stone is much easier due to the use of chemicals and new equipment.
There are chemicals the drastically effect the strength of concrete, some chemicals reduce the amount of water required , and the use of less water helps strength. There are also chemicals that increase the efficiency of portland cement (such as silica fume) and react with the bi-products in the concrete hydration process.
What are the uses of pre casts concrete
When referring to decorative pre cast stone (and not structural cast stone building material), there are 3 main categories. Firstly elements that decorate the building itself, and cast stone products used for garden or exterior spaces (like statues, fountains etc…), the third category would be interior elements such as crown moulding , fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds.
Due to the large amount of building and luxury architecture especially in China, the category of architectural stone is still very large. China, UK and USA are probably the leaders in architectural cast stone, however other countries excel and similar products such as GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete), Australia is a leader in that field.
Cast stone derives from carved stone, so many of the names are very much from the stone masons vocabulary.
3d wall panels
cast stone portico
engraved veneer stone
quarry face pavers
random work pavers
random work veneer
rococo stone detail