Stoneskin: a new material to rethink the use of natural stone

The Austrian company Stonearts, the creators of Stoneskin, has created a manufacturing method based on artisanal craftsmanship to turn actual, millennia-old stones into a stunning material that can be used for product decoration, furnishings, and interior design. This process enables designers to embrace earthy hues and the textures of genuine, natural stone.

Although the production of Stoneskin is based on the traditional knowledge of communities living near millennia-old mining sites in India, the material’s creation is relatively new. Here, a wide range of mineral stratification processes have been produced by the passage of geological eras, resulting in locations with stones that differ in composition, structure, and color.

Stoneskin’s history

A particular, finely adjustable procedure that can be thought of as a kind of “peeling” of the primary bulk stone has been devised to turn stone into a thin, lighter surface. Since the stone isn’t actually sliced or peeled, the actual operation is more akin to the antiquated reverse printing techniques: a backing layer is applied on top of the stone to serve as a substrate.

The mineral species on the upper side of the stone might diffusely migrate throughout the medium by means of a medium positioned between these two elements. The identical medium will thereafter serve as the matrix in which the minerals that make up the stone surface are deposited and adhered to the backing substrate.

Owing to the nature of the procedure and the composition of the stone, it can take up to 24 hours to create a single sheet of Stoneskin. This unique, natural single piece replicates the precise stratification found in the original stone, from which up to 1000 layers can be created.

Sizes and colors

As previously stated, the distinct hues of Stoneskin are solely derived from the original composition of the stone, accurately portraying the progression of distinct geological ages. Panels made from sandstone will replicate the warm, earthy, and sandy hues that quartz and feldspar normally provide; panels made from shale, on the other hand, will display colder, grayer, almost lavic colorations that are caused by the presence of clays, carbon components, and quartz.

This material can be found in numerous sizes to meet the needs of different projects. The S dimension is 1220 x 610 mm in size. The L size provides 2440 x 1220 mm in dimensions for larger applications. Furthermore, an XL size (2600 x 1200 mm) is now in production.

Numerous uses

The conventional version of Stoneskin, which has thicknesses of between 1.5 and 3 mm and weighs roughly 1.5 kg/m², is frequently supported by a fiberglass net for increased stability. There are many possible uses for this material, such as flooring, kitchens, bathrooms, sanitary installations, furniture cladding, and wall cladding both inside and outside.

It offers strong and fashionable solutions for both home and business applications, improving the appearance and usability of a variety of areas. It has intriguing features for changing any area while also depending on the ideas of biophilic design, whether it’s putting a little polish on a living room wall, designing a sleek and contemporary kitchen, or making sure a bathroom is both clean and aesthetically pleasing.

The company has also created an intriguing ultrathin variant that has the appearance and feel of synthetic leather and is incredibly flexible. This version is applied on an organic cotton background and is reportedly used in upholstery, fashion, and even the automobile industry, among other design fields.

Material characteristics

The material can tolerate temperatures as high as 120 °C, demonstrating its excellent thermal resistance. Additionally, it has a high abrasion class of PEI II, which means that it is appropriate for surfaces with low levels of abrasion and normal stress. According to UNE-EN 13755:2008, it is categorized as C-S2, d 0 for fire safety.

Stoneskin can be worked with using a variety of tools and methods. A table saw or a portable circular saw fitted with a stone or wood saw blade can be utilized for cutting tasks. A stone drill or a wood drill can be used for drilling. Additionally, you can use a heat gun to add heat if you need to increase its flexibility.

Using eco-design

Products like Stoneskin are in line with a growing awareness of natural materials thanks to eco-design principles that view reducing raw material consumption as a useful way to conserve non-renewable resources. The relationship between traditional and modern methods is a particularly intriguing source of inspiration when looking for sophisticated, long-lasting materials with unusual and extremely creative properties.

 

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