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CAST STONE VS. PRECAST CONCRETE VS. ARCHITECTURAL PRECAST CONCRETE

March 24, 2020
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Cast stone falls within that broad definition where some people use cast stone, pre cast, architectural pre cast interchangeably. The biggest difference between architectural precast concrete and cast stone according to W. N. Russell III, executive director of the Cast Stone Institute is that “cast stone isn’t permitted to contain bug holes or air voids and must have a fine-grained texture, which is normally achieved by acid etching.”

Cast Stone is best suited as architectural and/or aesthetic uses with structural advantages of concrete since it can be reinforced.  Cast stone is made with highly fine and coarse aggregates such as limestone, marble, calcite, granite, quartz, natural sands, Portland cement and coloring pigments. Then pour into mold to achieve a dense texture, similar to natural cut stone. It is available in any color and can look like limestone, brownstone, bluestone, granite, slate, travertine or marble. It can match terra-cotta or brick and makes a perfect substitute for brick shapes. Cast Stone’s appearance is improved by weather, year after year. 

Precast Concrete is best used in none visible areas, where the appearance of air voids and surface irregularities is not an important consideration. Precast concrete is ordinarily made combination of sand, dark color gravel, pebbles, rock, and cement. All of which is poured into a mold where gradation of aggregates is not so important. After several years of weathering, the dark aggregates will begin to show. 

Architectural Precast Concrete is best suited for projects where the appearance is not important and is usually used in the form of large curtain wall panel units or large spandrel members. Large aggregates of various colors mixed with a wet slurry of sand and cement is use then poured into the mold. The surface has exposed the aggregates, resulting in a pebbly-with-voids type of finish. 

Precast concrete is less costly to manufacture because aggregates cost less and no surface finishing is required. Due to weathering there is a definite advantage in using Cast Stone rather than precast concrete.

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WHAT IS A CAST STONE

March 24, 2020
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Cast stone or reconstructed stone is a concrete masonry form of artificial stone that simulates natural cut stone used in unit masonry applications. Cast stone is an excellent replacement for natural cut limestone, brownstone, sandstone, blue stone, granite, slate, coral, travertine, and other natural building stones as well as terra-cotta. It is used for architectural features: trim, or ornament; facing buildings or other structures; statuary;  garden ornaments. Cast stone can be made from white and/or grey cements, manufactured or natural sands, crushed stone or natural gravels, and colored with mineral coloring pigments to achieve the desired color and appearance while maintaining durable physical properties which exceed most natural cut building stones.

Brief History of Cast Stone:

The earliest known use of Cast Stone dates about to the year 1138 and extensively used in London in the year 1900 and have gained widespread acceptance in America in 1920.

Today, Cast Stone have become a truly superior alternative to natural stone product. Its versatility and ability to simulate or reproduce almost limitless variety of natural stones combined with strength and weathering qualities, and ability to replicate with consistency makes cast stone an ideal material for building, remodeling, and restoration.

Additional information is available on link pages. Organizations such as the Cast Stone Institute (http://caststone.org/) and the AIA (https://www.aia.org/) will further provide more detail information on Cast Stone and its process.

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