Cast stone has been a common architectural building product primarily used for trim, ornament, or facing on both residential houses and commercial buildings. Some of the most common applications include banding, sills, door and window surrounds, columns, pool coping, and water tables.
The manufacturing process for cast stone is considered the most labor intensive of all concrete production. It is essential to become familiar with the manufacturing techniques to allow for a final product of the highest quality.
The first step begins with creating the proper mold to form a particular piece of cast stone. That’s right, every piece of cast stone requires an individual mold to fit the specific details of each piece needing manufactured. Wood is the most commonly used material for molds; however, steel, rubber, bondo, and fiberglass are occasionally used in the molding process as well.
Now, once the individual mold is designed and fabricated, we are now ready to initiate the casting process. There are two methods traditionally used for casting procedures including wet casting and dry casting.
Wet casting requires a reverse mold to be filled with wet cement and aggregate while being left to cure for a period of 24 hours.
Dry casting is similar to the process stated above; however, a dry consistency of cement is poured into the mold and then compacted into place. Dry casting then requires the newly set cast stone to immediately enter a hydration chamber where the ambient temperature remains above 70 degrees fahrenheit. This additional step must take place considering the dry mix has a low moisture content, and this calls for adding extra water essential for initiating the bonding process of cement to aggregate.
The castings are then pulled from the hydration chamber after 24 hours and left to cure for 20 – 28 days. The most important aspect with creating cast stone is understanding the required timeline for casting and having enough patience to wait through the proper cure cycle.
Cast stone is a superior option to natural stone providing a long lasting alternative that gives your property an outstanding aesthetic appeal. Superior Masonry has over 10 years experience manufacturing and installing cast stone for both residential and commercial customers.
Cast stone cleaning and restoration is another service we offer for those looking to freshen up the dingy grime that has accumulated over the years. We can certainly solve any issues that may arise with cast stone whether its a repair, new installation, or cast stone cleaning. Please reach out today to schedule your on site consultation, and we will happily meet with you to discuss servicing your cast stone needs.
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