An artificial stone is a material that is obtained by solidifying a mixture of special components, which may be different.
It has been used for a very long time: the familiar brick or hardened lime mortar also belongs to this type of building materials.
A material such as artificial stone can be made even outside an industrial environment. Modern materials and technologies make it possible to successfully carry out such work even at home.
Today, artificial stone is very actively used in various types of finishing work, in the creation and decoration of landscape design.
If we compare a stone made by nature and made by human hands, then it is the latter that is distinguished by many wonderful working qualities.
The natural brother is too capricious and expensive. It is quite difficult to cut it into neat plates, as it is quite fragile. Fragments of greater thickness have an impressive mass, and if used for cladding, they add a significant load to the floors.
An artificial analogue is not inferior to it in its hardness and mechanical stability, and in some cases even surpasses it.
Advantages of an artificially made stone :
So, visually, the two are not very different. At the same time, an artificial stone acquires new useful qualities, being devoid of the disadvantages of natural.
The artificial stone used for wall decoration can be made using different methods and from different components. Depending on the manufacturing method and the constituent elements, all types of material are divided into five main groups.
It is made of clay by firing at a certain temperature mode.
This process requires a large amount of energy, trained personnel, a sufficiently large room.
It is possible to make it even at home, while the cost will be minimal.
True, the material obtained is used exclusively for internal work, since it is afraid of low temperatures.
Due to the fact that the form for concrete wear out much faster, its cost will be slightly higher than that of the previous one.
It can also be done in a small utility room or at home.
It has good frost resistance, so its scope is wider than that of gypsum.
Not suitable for self-production, since the polymerization of the material requires certain conditions: high temperature and vacuum.
But this material is superior to its natural counterpart.
Refers to cold curing materials.
It can be made under the same conditions as the plaster artificial counterpart. The main advantages of the material are the absence of pores and excellent chemical resistance, which provides it with excellent sanitary and hygienic properties.
The combination of strength and toughness allows you to actually make "stone wallpaper" from it. For use at the place of production, it is made in the form of individual sheets 3-4 mm thick.
In the presence of a special injection mold, it can be made immediately to the entire height of the wall being finished.
Industrial acrylic boards are slightly thicker (6, 9 and 12 mm), but this need is due to the difficulties of transportation.
The manufacturing process includes several mandatory steps.
Artificial stone: what is needed to make it?
To get a high-quality and usable material, you will have to acquire special equipment and the necessary materials. What can you not do without?
The quality of products depends on this unit and the correctness of its operation.
It is necessary to ensure uniformity and uniformity of the composition during its polymerization. The principle of operation of the device consists in uniform oscillation of the platform horizontally. It can be made by hand, or it can be purchased industrially.
Model casting molds
They are required if there are no finished molding products.
In them, the composition solidifies during the polymerization process.
Special release agent
When making a mold, they cover the model's inner part of the mold before pouring it. The use of this composition prevents materials from sticking and sticking to the mold.
There are various: it can be either elementary gypsum or a rather complex composition of polymers.
Required for coloration similar to natural.
Pillow tray made of sand
Required in order to exclude possible deformations of silicone molds, which sometimes occur in the process of making a stone.
A small building hair dryer that produces a thin and resilient stream of hot air. The tool is required to weld individual acrylic parts and parts.
What can serve as a model for making the actual casting molds? First of all, these are, of course, industrially produced stones, or natural stones of suitable shape.
And in either case, a set of shapes, sizes and reliefs of the manufactured products will be enough limited. But a convenient and functional model can be made from a cheap and affordable natural material - ordinary clay.
For the manufacture of models, a special lattice made of smooth and thin plastic is used. For gypsum and concrete stone, it should have a height of 6-12 mm, for clay with stucco molding 20-40, and more than 3 mm for acrylic products.
How does the process take place?
A PVC film is laid on a flat shield, after which a lattice is placed, the cells of which are filled with clay. The drying process is carried out in the shade, as drying products can crack from the rays of the sun. The degree of drying can be controlled with a small lump of clay placed next to it.
Drying of models takes from two to five days - it depends on the size of the items and on the weather conditions.
With the help of an infrared lamp, you can speed up the process: a product with a power of 100-200 W is suspended above drying models at a height of at least two meters.
At home, it is convenient to make such forms from silicone.
The model or several are placed on a flat, even surface on which the film has been laid in advance, and surrounded by a side, the height of which should exceed the level of the model by one or two centimeters. The surface of the models and the inner surface of the fence are covered with a greasy substance - a mine grinder, cyatim or solid oil.
The resulting structure is installed in a strictly horizontal position, providing the silicone with a flat surface.
We recommend using the cheapest silicone with a noticeable vinegar smell. It is squeezed out of the container, evenly distributing and filling the cells. To avoid bubbles, use a flute brush - it must be dipped in a foamed solution of any detergent composition (but not soap) for dishes.
The surface of the composition in the filled cell is smoothed with a spatula, also regularly moistening it in a detergent.
The mold is dried in the same way as the clay model in the previous description.
However, in this case it is not recommended to use an infrared lamp!
In this case, drying will be accelerated by high-quality ventilation. A control sample, a ring with silicone, is placed near the mold. The drying rate of silicone is approximately 2 mm in 24 hours.
Each type of artificial material requires its own composition of the molding mix.
Such a filler is washed with a detergent composition, ignited and rinsed; then a coloring pigment is added to it.
Next, the acrylic resin is combined with a hardener, a pigment with a filler is introduced into it, and mixed evenly.
Such a mixture can remain liquid for no more than twenty minutes, after about forty minutes it already grasps.
The final readiness of the product comes in a day.
The process of casting an artificial stone can be conditionally divided into the starting and basic stages of work.
Therefore, it is necessary to produce two types of mixture - base and starting.
If you need to fill in a smaller form without reliefs, it is permissible to use facial mixtures that are well enveloping, containing a coloring pigment and filler.
They are applied with a special brush.
For the starting mixture , sand, gypsum and cement are diluted to a certain consistency (liquid). In the starting acrylic composition, the proportion of the coloring pigment with the filler is reduced to 60 percent, while the content of the resin with the hardener is increased.
Base Formulation is added to the mold when the starter mix is solidified. Microcalcite usually serves as a filler for acrylic: it provides a background, thanks to which the decorative qualities of the facial mixture are remarkably manifested.
Before you start making your own artificial stone, you should decide on the desired type of wall decoration:
In terms of cost, different materials can be arranged as follows:
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