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FAQ - Cast Stone
► "What is Cast Stone?"
Put simply, cast stone is a propietary blend of fine and coarse aggregates, white portland cement,
and admixtures used to manufacture high quality stone products.
►"Is it Real Stone?"
Real stone is a major part of cast stone's mix design.
►"How does it compare with limestone?"
Because molds are used to make the stone pieces, each piece will be identical to the mold and to all the other pieces from that mold. Therefore, it is generally more consistent than limestone. Additionally, if you ever need another piece down the road, it can quickly and cost-effectively be produced using the same mold. It is less expensive to produce many of the same extremely detailed pieces using molds, than by chiseling it.
Color and texture matching is made easy with cast stone. Any color pigment can be added to the stone mix, and the color is throughout the entire piece. Its color is retained longer than limestone. Cast stone can take on any shape.
►"Is there a difference between cast stone and precast concrete?"
Yes. Precast concrete can refer to wall panels, floor and roof slabs, catch basins, landscaping and
retaining walls as well as building products such as: lintels, sills and coping. Cast Stone is a refined
architectural concrete building unit manufactured specifically to simulate natural cut stone.
The process involved in making precast stone and cast stone are similar, but to meet the specification
for cast stone, higher quality molds are used, the design mix needs to be different and the finishing process is
more extensive. Although it is possible for a precast manufacture to produce stone that meets the Cast Stone
specifications it is unlikely, because once a manufacture can attain those specifications they will use the term
Cast Stone in describing their products.
►"Does Tri-Stone use the wet-cast or dry-cast method in their cast stone manufacturing?"
Tri-Stone has perfected the wet cast method of cast stone manufacturing. One way of comparing the two is by the manufacturing process. In order to make dry cast stone, a concrete mixture is compacted into a mold; then immediately taken out of the mold to be put into a curing room with humidity levels of 95% for 24 hours or more. This process leaves a lot of variables. According to the article “Architectural Precast Concrete vs. Cast Stone” in the November 2007 issue of Masonry, the immediate removal of the dry cast stone from its mold “accelerates the hydration of the concrete, which severely compromises quality”.
Wet cast, however, is made much more reliably. The concrete mixture is poured into a mold and then cures in the mold for 24 hours or more. It is taken out when it has reached 65% of its final strength, which makes for strong edges and details. Unlike the dry cast curing method, the wet cast method does not have the risk of improper curing, ensuring quality stone every time.