Precious few things remain unchanged over generations, let alone centuries. In the building materials sector, continuous advancements deliver better windows, insulation, cladding systems – just to name a few evolving product categories. But, like brick, one building material remains as relevant and valuable in 2021 as it was a thousand years ago. In this post, we’re looking at the remarkable qualities of cast stone and how Arriscraft has modernized this timeless product.
So, while living in pyramids didn’t catch on, the practice of fabricating stone most certainly did. Some researchers* speculate that pyramid builders used blocks cast from ‘synthetic material’. We do know that the first recorded cast stone was in the 12th century in France and by 1900, was used extensively in London, England. In the 1920s, cast stone was commonly being used in American cities and the Cast Stone Institute was formed in 1927.
After nearly 100 years of regulation, cast stone’s technical and performance standards assure long-term performance and provide a product of ‘infinite life’ (which means exceeding 100 years).
Cast Stone is used in place of natural stone and is specified under the masonry division 0470 00-04. Unlike architectural precast concrete, Cast Stone looks like natural, dimensional, cut building stone. The finish of Cast Stone looks like limestone (or, a sugar cube finish) which distinguishes it from the ‘pebbly with voids’ appearance which is normally associated with concrete. This dense finish is more resistant to water and dirt and the fine aggregates retain the granular texture through decades of exposure.
The raw material mixtures for Cast Stone are proportioned for maximum density to produce the fine-grained texture similar to natural stone. Suitable aggregates include limestone, marble, calcite, granite, quartz, natural sands, Portland cement, mineral oxide colouring pigments, chemical admixtures, and water. This range of options means Cast Stone is available in any colour and can replicate the look of limestone, brownstone, bluestone, granite, slate, travertine or marble.**
As a leading manufactured stone supplier in North America, Arriscraft offers its own product line – ARRIS-cast, which gives customers a high-performance product with amazing finishing flexibility (including our exclusive rocked finish), unique colours and a broad range of shapes and sizes. With its natural fine grain finish, ARRIS-cast products are the perfect complement to Arriscraft’s premium calcium silicate Building Stone, Renaissance® and brick product lines.
From functional pieces, like steps, wall caps and sills to ornamental arches, to decorative pillars, keystones, quoins and even custom etchings, ARRIS-cast gives you endless possibilities to design with durability and beauty!
For more information, please visit our ARRIS-cast web page, download the brochure and contact or find your local dealer. Stay tuned for another article on using ARRIS-cast to complement our exclusive Renaissance® Masonry Units.
** Cast Stone Institute Technical Manual Copyright 2012