Description and employment
What is lightweight marble?
The material we call “lightweight marble” is a compound product which consists of natural stone and Honeycomb (aluminium cells surrounded by a permeated glass texture), a material with excellent resistance qualities and a great lightness, widely employed in the aeronautical sector. Marble and Honeycomb are stick together by means of a two-component epoxy glue, which guarantees an airtight seal thanks to the employment of vacuum machineries, so that the adhesives are better distributed and there is no air inside that could weaken the panel’s structure.
Lightweight marble is a very versatile product and it has only a few employment restraints in comparison with traditional marble. It is possible to obtain slabs up to the dimension of 3100×1500 mm, much bigger than the standard format of traditional slabs on the market. Moreover there is the possibility, according to the project’s requirements, to determine both marble’s (normally about 5 mm) and Honeycomb’s thickness (its cells can have a minimum thickness of 5 mm to a maximum of 100 mm for some manufacturers). Another variable we should take into account is the diametre of the aluminium hexagonal cells contained in the Honeycomb structure: we can easily infer that the smaller these cells are, the greater resistance they guarantee.
Over the years our Company has acquired a great expertise, so that we can guide and advise the designers about their choice, which should be suitable to their needs, as the peculiarity and the distinctiveness of the stone sector’s projects together with the variables regarding material, thickness and final use make each project unique.
Example of a 25 mm thick panel (marble 5 mm + Honeycomb 20 mm)
b) Compression resistance:
(ASTM-C 365) 33,8 kg/cm²
c) Bending resistance:
(ASTM-C 393) 1350 kg/m²
d) Resistance to loads concentrating on one single point:
(Punch DIN 30 cm²) 240 kg
Employment and application
Lightweight marble can be used with rare exceptions in the same fields as traditional marble. But the more complex kind of processing and the consequent costs to obtain it recommend its employment especially in cases in which weight reduction becomes a priority, so the main application areas are the following:
- Furniture panelling
- Shipping sector (yachts)
- Aeronautical sector
- Console tables
- Lift panelling
Considering these applications’ peculiarity, it is unlikely that the customer will ask for a single lightweight marble slab, as in traditional marble’s case, but complex elements in which the compound panel’s production will represent only an intermediate step of the production process.
Thanks to the expertise achieved and the working team, our Company can produce the complex elements with which, through particular processing and bonding techniques, will be obtained finished products simulating traditional solid piece elements with all the advantages of lightweight marble.
Some types of workmanships
1) Lightweight marble display stand with a 3 cm thick Honeycomb plate as supporting element and 5 mm thick honed Pietra Luna panels on each side.
2) Detail of a 45° bonding with lightweight Honey Onyx panels, 20 mm thick (5 mm Onyx + 15 mm Honeycomb), on a wood table’s structure. In the foreground you can see properly the detail of the edge realised with the bonding technique, which creates the “solid piece” effect.
3) Inlaid flooring for a yacht in Pink Portugal, Golden Spider and Pink Onyx, with a 18 mm thickness, consisting of 5 mm thick marble plates on 13 mm thick Honeycomb panels.
4) Detail of a Travertine platform with a 45° bonding. The panels have a total thickness of 10 mm (5 mm Travertine + 5 mm Honeycomb) and are reinforced by angle brackets (non visible).
5) Bathroom console table realised with lightweight Honey Onyx. It is possible to appreciate the perfect “solid piece” effect and you can only guess the realisation process by means of lightweight marble panels observing the holes that will lodge the overcounter washbasin’s drainpipe.