Artificial stone

Artificial stone is a name for various kinds of synthetic stone products used from the 19th century through the early 21st century. They were used in building construction, civil engineering work, and industrial uses such as grindstones.

One of the earliest was Coade stone, a fired ceramic, but most artificial stone consists of fine cement concrete placed to set in wooden or iron moulds. It was cheaper and more uniform than natural stone, and widely used. In engineering projects, it had the advantage that transporting the bulk materials and casting them near the place of use was cheaper than transporting very large pieces of stone.

A well-known variety was Victoria stone, which is composed of finely crushed Mount Sorrel (Leicestershire) granite and Portland cement, carefully mixed by machinery in the proportions of three to one, and filled into moulds of the required shape. When the blocks are set hard the moulds are loosened and the blocks placed in a solution of silicate of soda for about two weeks for the purpose of indurating and hardening them. Many manufacturers turn out a material that is practically non-porous and is able effectually to resist the corroding influence of sea air or the impure atmosphere of large towns.

Modern Cast stone is an architectural concrete building unit manufactured to simulate natural cut stone, used in unit masonry applications”. Cast stone is a masonry product, used as an architectural feature, trim, ornament or facing for buildings or other structures. Cast stone can be made from white and/or grey cements, manufactured or natural sands, carefully selected crushed stone or well graded natural gravels and mineral coloring pigments to achieve the desired color and appearance while maintaining durable physical properties which exceed most natural cut building stones. Cast stone is an excellent replacement for natural cut limestone, brownstone, sandstone, bluestone, granite, slate, coral rock, travertine and other natural building stones.

Bibliography

*, "s.v." 'stone'
* George Ripley, ed., "The American Cyclopædia: A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge", 1873 "s.v." 'concrete'


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