Understanding the unique difference of manufactured calcium silicate building stone.
While calcium silicate masonry units (CSMU) are not a new product, their unique qualities and benefits are perhaps more relevant today than ever. Understanding the inherent difference of CSMUs reveals the important advantages of this proven masonry product.
Calcium silicate masonry units are a manufactured stone product with exceptional strength and durability, as well as remarkable authenticity in terms of texture and appearance. Our Arriscraft division has manufactured calcium silicate building stone for over 60 years. This type of manufactured stone is distinct from both clay bricks and concrete masonry products.
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How it’s made makes the difference.
Naturally occurring materials are mixed and then pressed into modular-sized units under high pressure. The units are then subjected to a highly monitored steam system to produce a masonry unit with uniformly fine-grained texture. This Natural Process® technology (patented by Arriscraft) replicates how stone is formed in the earth – but does it more rapidly, of course. During the manufacturing process, the raw materials chemically react to form a calcium silicate hydrate binder resulting in durable, strong and integrally bonded units.
Although this manufacturing process has changed very little over the decades, the demand for this naturally based, calcium silicate stone continues to grow. These ‘green’ units are entirely natural, except for the color pigments that are added as the raw materials combine. This mixing creates masonry units with through-body color, so stones can by cut, shaped, hand-chiseled or dressed on site while maintaining the fine-grained texture and color.
Performs like quarried stone.
Because CSMUs are created to be inherently like natural, quarried stone, they offer the same strength and durability benefits. Arriscraft Building Stone products are offered with a lifetime warranty and will not fade, shrink, crack or age in the way that concrete-based manufactured stone products may – particularly under severe weather conditions. These calcium silicate products are described as ASTM C73-99a, which specifies the requirements for compressive strength and absorption in order for the material to be classified as either moderate or severe weathering.
Cement-based product standards to not apply to CSMUs; within the calcium silicate standards there are no performance requirements with respect to freeze-thaw durability. It is generally accepted that the durability of calcium silicate masonry is closely related to its strength properties. Arriscraft stone products have been independently tested to ensure that they meet and exceed the severe weathering requirements for ASTM C73.
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