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Challenges in Engineered Stone – Improving Properties of Highly Filled up Systems using Quartz


Title: Challenges in Engineered Stone – Improving Properties of Highly Filled up Systems using Quartz

Authors: Ina van Kamp, Sascha Kockoth, Stephan Remme

DOI: 10.33599/nasampe/c.22.0013

Abstract: Engineered stone, developed by Breton S.P.A. in the 1960s, is a special application that allows the production of stone-like slabs. Due to several benefits, it has become very popular compared to natural stone. Because of the non-porous surface, the stain resistance as well as the mechanical durability are improved. Also, engineered stone allows a variety of colors that cannot be found as easily in natural stone, which makes it an attractive material for interior applications like kitchen countertops.

In the process of production, a mixture of resin (usually UP), filler, and other possible ingredients is put into a mold where it undergoes a compaction process. This compaction is usually created by using pressure, vibration, and the elimination of air by applying a vacuum to the compound. In the past, products for these interior applications were mainly blocks of natural marble—such as from a quarry—that had to be cut into slabs, whereas today these products are mainly made directly using the engineered stone slab process.

These slabs are either filled with marble or quartz. The use of quartz leads to slabs with excellent mechanical stability and high scratch resistance. The comparably high filler content places particularly high demands on the formulation and process. The biggest challenge is to ensure the complete wetting of the filler (so-called compaction) and a consistent quality of the final product.

Improving the filler wetting and/or reducing the viscosity of other highly filled UP resins with additives has been a known and common practice for many years. So far, however, such products have not been used in engineered stone because they are either not very effective or have a negative effect on the mechanical properties. This paper will address the challenges faced in the process that results from the high quartz content. Therefore, we will highlight some examples for this application that have positive effects on processability as well as on cost.

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Conference: CAMX 2022

Publication Date: 2022/10/17

SKU: TP22-0000000013

Pages: 13

Price: $26.00

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