Cladded stones are mainly used in buildings for their variety of colours and aesthetic qualities. Their main disadvantages are: high costs, relatively high weight and poor flexure stiffness. the existing processes for manufacturing thin stones are limited to the techniques of composite stones in "bee nests" and "rust proof steel reinforcement", which are very expensive. The former deal with composite materials with support in "bee nest" in aluminium, glass fibber and epoxy. These products present very good performances in terms of density gain, but have poor durability of the organic support and resins when exposed to outside enviromnents and are very expensive. The second process does not allow the possibility of completion of ultra thin slabs (minimum width 13 mm), does not provide advantages in terms of density of the materials and is also expensive. The proposed project aims at developing new processes for the manufacturing of thin stones, namely: one process, known as "stone versus stone", that consists of a stone "sandwich" with two stones linked by an epoxy resin reinforced with glass fibbers; a second process, known as "fibber concrete reinforced stone", consisting of the link between a light fibber concrete slab and the stone slab, without epoxy resin. The technical and industrial feasibility of these processes needs the full comprehension of bounding techniques, characterisation of the "sandwich panels" and equipment development namely for precision cutting with diamond discs. The new expected processes will take advantage of the mineral interfaces properlies using the process of light micro-concrete reinforced by fibbers, or sticking stone versus stones. These interfaces have a better performance in terms of materials durability. The processes will be more SME oriented being completed more easily, with a lower cost of investment, materials and man power. It is expected to have at the end of the project experimented and validated processes to be industrialised and commercialised.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards