Patented technology and plants for manufacturing the BRETONSTONE® SLABS
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...BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE, FLEXIBLE, HIGH-PERFORMANCE
Creativity and imagination of the designer are the only limitations to the many aesthetic possibilities, colours and uses of BRETONSTONE® slabs which satisfy modern architectural requirements, surpassing the technical and aesthetic features of natural stone and many other “non stone” materials. BRETONSTONE® slabs are used across a broad range of furnishing applications such as kitchen worktops, flooring, raised flooring, internal and external cladding, vanity tops, bathroom furnishings for small or large, public or private projects for houses and large commercial areas.
When preparing this type of stone product various types of natural stone aggregates are used (quartz, granite, silica sand, marble etc.) and it is also possible to add other original and extravagant stone-like materials (mother of pearl, lapis lazuli, coloured glass, mirrors, metals etc.) giving the finished product its rare beauty and uniqueness. The final product can be designed and developed satisfying the specific technical and aesthetic requirements of the architect or interior designer by mixing different types of stone materials of different sizes and colours varying the colour, composition and aggregate content of the mix.
The high stone aggregate content not only gives this product its natural beauty, but makes it extremely versatile, whether a natural effect is chosen or a pattern designed and developed meeting the specific technical and aesthetic requirements of the architect or interior designer (anti-scratch, resistant to bacteria development or antibacterial, antislip, acid resistant, stain resistant, UV ray resistant, antistatic for raised flooring etc.). Several finishing treatments are available including polished, sanded, bushhammered, brushed, “soft touch” effect and others. It is possible to produce slabs with different patterns and tones ideal for satisfying the most sophisticated and contemporary internal and external cladding requirements.
BRETONSTONE®: THE MOST FAMOUS ENGENEERED STONE IN THE WORLD
BRETONSTONE® plants for manufacturing compound stone are installed and successfully working in many countries worldwide, with an annual production rate estimated at several million square metres.
The commercial success of BRETONSTONE® slab plants is demonstrated by the substantial and rapid increase in the use of Engeneered stone on the world market used as cladding for houses and offices and high traffic areas such as airports, shopping malls, residential centres, supermarkets, places of worship etc. Considering that the current use of Engeneered stone worldwide can be described as outstanding, it still only accounts for a small percentage of cladding materials utilised around the world, however it is more than evident the enormous growth potential Engeneered stone and BRETONSTONE® quartz will have in the near future.
Breton Engeneered stone can be described as environmentally friendly as 94 % of its content comes from crushed waste stone left over in quarries or from natural stone beds. The bonding agents used in Breton Engeneered stone are inert therefore this product does not produce any form of allergen making it the ideal stone solution for any location.
THE ENORMOUS SUCCESS OF BRETONSTONE® KITCHEN WORKTOPS AND INTERIOR FURNISHINGS
BRETONSTONE® QUARTZ is a Bretonstone product of superior physical-mechanical properties. This specific product is manufactured from over 94 % in weight of quartz crystals which thanks to the exclusive vacuum vibrocompression process “BRETONSTONE® SYSTEM” are compressed in a compact arrangement. BRETONSTONE® QUARTZ is a Engeneered stone formed by polymer chains which wrap each single quartz crystal and with a specific adhesion promoter are bonded together forming an impenetrable surface. This type of bonding agent binds the quartz crystal (SiO2) by means of an organofunctional silanes bond and binds the polymer chain by means of an organofunctional bond. The result is a compound material which does not exist in nature and as such is a superior quality product for contemporary construction requirements offering unique and unequalled features.
Anti-scratch, chemical resistant, stain resistant, moisture resistant and hygienic thanks to the non-porous surface this product is inhospitable to bacteria and by adding a specific additive to the stone mix it becomes “bactericidal” destroying and inhibiting growth of bacteria and common mould found in everyday and domestic surroundings. All features which are combined with a high resistance to mechanical stresses substantially superior to that of natural stone.
The exceptional and superior technical features, large slab size combined with beauty and aesthetic flexibility, safe and easy processing and transformation of slabs into furnishing elements with the possibility of coupling slabs to increase thickness, are all assets of BRETONSTONE® QUARTZ a product successful worldwide thanks to its many applications from kitchen tops, vanity tops, to bar counters and worktops in general. It is for this versatility in a broad range of applications, that this product has surpassed many other alternative solutions including natural stone, ceramics and synthetic materials.
BRETONSTONE® SLAB PLANTS
BRETONSTONE® slabs are manufactured utilising BRETONSTONE® SLAB PLANTS which can be described as a concentrate of mix preparation and treatment, casting, hardening and slab finishing technologies and processes. The slabs are cast in elastomeric moulds using an exclusive and patented technology “Compaction by Vibrocompression Vacuum process” which compacts and compresses the stone mix which consists of a high quantity of stone materials and a minimum quantity of bonding agents to obtain a superior quality Engeneered stone product. Only the necessary quantity of resin is used to saturate the gaps between the filler particles (pulverised minerals). Generally, mixes which are formulated with the “correct ratio” of aggregates / bonding agents appear arid, neither bonded nor smooth making them difficult to work utilising conventional means and tools. However, if these mixes are compacted correctly, they provide the end product with high-quality features and properties.
The vacuum effect generated by vibrocompression compacts the aggregate mix and the excellent consolidating capacity created by this process reduces the gaps between the crystals and particles, resulting in a reduction of the quantity of bonding agent required and an increase in the mechanical properties of the final product. Vacuum compacting prevents macro-porosity in the compacted mix and microporosity in the bonding resins minimising water absorption to 0.02% in weight. BRETONSTONE® slabs thanks to this technology are perfectly homogenous and isotropic with high physical-mechanical properties throughout the entire slab structure.
RAW MATERIALS AGGREGATES
The raw materials utilised for manufacturing BRETONSTONE® slabs are Aggregates, Mineral Fillers, Bonding Agents, Additives and Colouring Agents.
Are stone materials mixed with the bonding agent to create the stone mix to compact.
Aggregates can be siliceous such as quartz, granite, porphyry, basalt, quartzite, silica sand or calcareous as marble, dolomite, coloured stones etc. The aggregates used can be either in sand or grain form and / or various size stones. The nature, size and grain size scale of the aggregates are chosen depending on the appearance and physical- mechanical properties of the final product to produce.
Aggregates can be purchased direct from the producer already dried and divided into the various grain sizes required, or as an alternative solution it is possible to install, adjacent to the BRETONSTONE® plant, a stone crusher and screening machine.
Mineral fillers are mixed with resin to form “resin bonding agents”. These mineral fillers consist of various types of stone materials finely pulverised. Generally micronized silica (silex) or micronized feldspar are used with siliceous aggregates and calcium carbonate with calcareous aggregates. Mineral fillers and stone aggregates are widespread and easy to source raw materials.
BONDING AGENTS AND ADDITIVES
The organic resin normally used as bonding agent is unsaturated polyester resin formulated for the end use of BRETONSTONE® products. The additives, added in small quantities to the mixes to obtain specific results, are catalysts, accelerators for hardening the resin and bifunctional silanes in siliceous aggregate mixes.
The stone mixes can be coloured utilising metal oxide pigments.The colouring agents play an important role in the process because combined with the natural colour and size of the particles and thanks to the special mixing, compacting and treating equipment, they offer unlimited choices in colour and appearance of BRETONSTONE® slabs.
PRODUCTION CAPACITY OF BRETONSTONE® SLAB PLANTS
Slab sizes range from 125 x306 cm up to 165 x330 cm with a finished thickness of 7 mm up to 30 mm.
These slabs can be sold as they are or transformed into finished products to the size required.
Slab production rate, depending on the plant model and layout, can vary from 1.000 mq 3.300 mq slabs per working day.
...BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE, FLEXIBLE, HIGH-PERFORMANCE
The patented technology for moulding slabs in elastomeric moulds using the “Compaction by Vibrocompression Vacuum process” allows manufacturing slabs with different surface patterns and tones ideal for satisfying the most sophisticated and avant-garde solutions.
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- WEB LINKS TO THE MAIN BRETON COMPOUND STONE MANUFACTURERS