Dry Pack Cast Stone and Precast Concrete
products and textures. (805) 386-8185 Fax: (805) 671-9371
Glossary of products
Description: Foam Coated Precast (glass fiber reinforced)
Description: GRG (glass fiber reinforced gypsum)
Glossary of Textures
These textures are also on our texture page.
| || Coral texture, made in precast concrete or GFRC product, rich
natural stone texture resembling cut coral or keystone. |
| || Coral is a limestone that has been formed for thousands of years in
marine regions, we simulate the texture with silicone rubber molds taken
from coral texture. |
The stone is almost pure white on extraction and has natural antiquing
which we simulate with concrete stains.
| || Natural Coral is becoming
increasingly rare, and was very popular until a few years ago, but has now
become too expensive for most projects. |
| || Lightweight thin wall GFRC or full weight precast, with smooth
polished surface with many small irregular fissures and swirls. |
| || Made from crushed limestone or aggregates, fiberglass reinforcement,
cement, and integrated pigment. |
| || Hand laid into molds. |
| || More expensive than our base price. |
A short lesson on our concrete products.
Cast stone is most often used in
classical homes requiring the fine sanded texture and sharp details common to
fine European or East coast estate homes.
Cast stone, used by man since the Egyptian pyramids were constructed, is hand
packed into molds under tremendous pressure, just as in nature when limestone is
made from the extreme pressure on sand, lime and slurry over thousands of years.
This technique of compacting sand, crushed limestone and colored pigment with a
small amount of water ensures a product which closely resembles limestone.
Uniform in color and texture because very little water is used in it's
production, cast stone is used where limestone or sandstone is desired but is
cost prohibitive. The surface of cast stone shows the aggregate naturally at its
surface, simulating limestone or sandstone. Pleasing, high quality texture, our
The difference between high end cast stone and
normal precast concrete is easily seen, and even the novice can appreciate the
high quality limestone like finish on a cast stone product. Made
with old time European techniques and reconstituting crushed limestone in
our mix which gives our product a very special texture and quality, unseen
in normal precast products. Larger parts can sometimes be made in
Cost's slightly more than our other products because of the Materials used and
the special molds needed in it's manufacture.
GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete)
GFRC is just another term for
lightweight precast concrete and is usually used in more contemporary
themed homes using the old world, travertine, or others of our many textures
resembling the stone of the Mediterranean, Tuscany and even old Mexico.
We simulate aged stone by hand laying a mix of special aggregates and cement
into molds with special "techniques", making the product look time worn or
aged, resembling the old stone moldings seen at many historical sites or
buildings. The GFRC product is thinwall about 3/4" thick and is extremely strong
and about 25% the weight of solid stone.
GFRC can also be sprayed into molds, resulting in a smooth
Precast concrete is usually used in more
contemporary themed homes using the old world, travertine, or others of our
many textures resembling the stone of the Mediterranean, Tuscany and even old
We manufacture precast concrete products similar to the products made by other
manufacturers except we have 12 different beautiful textures unseen in
We also simulate limestone or sandstone by pouring a mix of wet concrete into
molds and when cured are then sand washed, to remove the fine cured cement
particles at the surface of the product, and hopefully expose the aggregates to
give the product the highly desired limestone "look".
Precast concrete can also be sprayed into molds, resulting in a smooth
Lightweight cast stone.
We at Ventura Cast Stone, Inc are pleased to introduce this lightweight GFRC
cast stone or lightweight precast concrete.
Because lightweight cast stone is made from fiberglass strand mixed with
real crushed limestone-cement matrix which gives it that stone look, it is
suitable for architectural columns, balusters, window/door trim and
fireplace mantle treatments requiring the look and feel of real stone.
Lightweight precast concrete is usually called GFRC or glass fiber
reinforced concrete, and is
installed in the Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Precast
concrete weights aprox 100 lbs per cubic foot, GFRC weights aprox 10 lbs
per cubic foot, being hollow inside.
Precast concrete simulates older carved sandstone and does not simulate limestone as
does cast stone. Precast concrete resembles finished concrete and the
surface looks mainly smooth with added texture. Cast stone resembles limestone. Lightweight GFRC precast concrete is not a new product and has
been used for years in architectural products.
| Table 1: Exposures of Architectural
| Exposure categories || Description || Techniques |
| Nonexposed || Cement paste only, as removed from the form || Form finish (as cast) |
| Light || Matrix dominant, surface skin of cement and sand is removed || Acid etch |
| Medium || Coarse aggregate is exposed in equal areas to the matrix, 50/50 || Surface retarder |
| Deep || Greater coarse aggregate exposure, very little matrix is seen || Surface retarder |
Copyright © 2002 Ventura Cast Stone,
PO Box 552, Somis, CA 93066 (805) 386-8185 Fax: (805) 386-3002
Our range of products are manufactured with two techniques:
The "Dry Cast" method is a two part process, a face material to give
you the similar finish to natural stone. Mechanically compacted to the
rear of this is the backing mix to give the units strength in the terms
of handling ability
Dry cast units are immediately demolded after casting and are hand
finished to a very high standard.
Wet Cast as the name suggests produces structural products like heads
and sills but is also used for slabs, beams and other similar products,
that are for high exposure or structural situations where greater loads
are required on the finished unit. The Wet Cast also has the added
advantage of specialist finishes with the use of special sand
Cast Stone is known by a variety of other names including art stone,
reconstructed stone, reconstituted stone, artificial stone and
manufactured stone. This defines cast stone as any material manufactured
with aggregate and cementicious binder and intended to resemble in
appearance, and be used in a similar way to, natural stone. Cast stone
is either homogenous through out or consists of a facing material and
The method of production is split into two categories.
Choice of manufacturing method
The majority of cast stone manufactures use the semi-dry method of
production. And is the more commonly widely used method of manufacture.
Early consultation with us is advisable to ascertain the correct method
of production for your project.
Sizes: Components produced using the semidry
method are limited in size with face dimensions of Ashlar units normally
no greater than 1200x600mm. This is mainly because of the fact a semi
dry mix is used, which require rapid and rigorous compaction with hand
held pneumatic tampers. The semidry method of production is best suited
to traditionally sized ashlars quoins, sills, copings, door and window
Structural requirements: Components requiring
reinforcement which is more complex than a few straight bars or a layer
of fabric reinforcement, must be produced using the wet cast method of
production. This is because it is difficult to achieve thorough
compaction of semidry mixes around congested reinforcement.
Appearance: Cast stone can replicate a variety
of cast stone and
. The semidry method of production is used to simulate limestones and
sandstones. Where a component has a particularly intricate pattern or
profile including slender projections, precast concrete may have to be
used in preference to the 'semidry' method. Good color matching between
components can be achieved by both methods, although fineline precast textural
differences become apparent at close range.
Economics: Rapid production rates with frequent
reuse of molds are possible with cast stone produced using semidry
mixes. Where as with the Wet Cast process a higher number of concrete
molds is required to achieve the same casting program, but careful
thought a planning stages of the contract can minimize the number of
concrete molds. In Fact an additional 2-3 weeks extra lead-time for
standard or semi standard products can sometimes be all that is needed
to achieve the same casting program.
Comparison between the semidry and wet methods
The production of cast stone using semidry mixes differs from that of
wet method in several ways.
Semi Dry ~ De-molding takes place immediately after compaction. This
allows a rapid casting cycle with e.g. up to 80 or more basic components
(sills, copings, etc.) a day from a single mold.
Wet Cast ~ Where as to manufacture the equivalent in wet cast it
would not only take longer but you would require 1 mold per cast per day
i.e. to produce 80 units a day you would need 80 molds.
Semi Dry ~Compaction is carried out by pneumatic tampers rather than
Wet Cast ~ Compaction is carried out by vibration.
Semi Dry ~ *Separate facing and backing mixes are often used for
components like ashlars, sills, heads and jambs, where the backing mix
is concealed from view. Separate facing and backing mixes are used
primarily to economize on the facing mix. This requires a separate
facing mix to be not less than 20 mm thick at any point, with semidry
cement sand facing mixes and concrete backing mixes each mix is placed
and compacted in immediate succession to ensure that they are
Wet Cast ~ Wet Cast units are manufactured from a through colored
Semi Dry ~ Water repellent admixtures are invariably used in facing
mixes to reduce permeability. Giving a water absorption of Grade B. All
constituents are accurately weigh batched with the moisture content
monitored regularly. Mix batches are necessarily small to prevent any
premature drying of the mix. Thorough mixing and compaction are critical
to ensure that the cast stone achieves the required density (typically
between 1850-2100kg/m2), compressive strength and permeability.
Wet Cast ~ superplasticisers and accelerators are used to ensure good
flow of the mix during vibration and compaction to achieve a smooth,
compact and blow hole free finish (where ever possible finish smooth
after dressing) also to give good early strength. Typical cube tests at
7-10 Days are that of the equivalent of that of a semi dry unit at 28
Products are split into three categories.
Standard - Cast stone items that are
manufactured in accordance with our Technical specification sheets.
These items could be stock items or units, which are ready to cast at
the first available production slot, with no molds to produce. Products
like standard head, sills or pier caps and copings. The cost of
establishing the molds is not same, thus for small production runs costs
can be kept to the minimum. Also not forgetting lead times can be much
shorter by not having to detail, obtain approval and then construct
Purpose Made - Cast Stone items which are
manufactured in accordance with the contract documents. These units are
made from new purpose made concrete molds. These would probably be
specialized units, which are not contained in our brochure. We have our
own in house design department, who will assist you in the process of
your design advising you in Careful thought must be given in the
planning process for purpose made products. Please consider the
| || Design and detailing of in house production drawings- Some times
it is of necessity to produce working drawings of Architects details
to enable production of molds.
This process can some times take any thing from 2-10 days,
dependant on how long it takes to get details approved.
| || Approval of production drawings.
| || Production of Patterns- Sometimes it is necessary to produce units
from urethane or silicone rubber molds.
| || This may involve the pattern being produced and before molds are
manufactured, approval of the pattern may be necessary from the
Architect or Client.
| || Approval of production patterns
| || Manufacture of concrete molds
| || Production of Units
| || Curing of units
| || Packaging and Transportation to Site
Remember adequate time must be allowed for production of concrete
Colors and Finishes
A variety of traditional ashlar finishes can be replicated with cast
stone, including plain, boasted, tooled, rockfaced, vermiculated. The
other ashlar finishes are normally produced from latex:sand or concrete
Here is where specialist aggregates can be used to achieve some
wonderful and varied finishes and colors.
Dependant on the situation all cast stone both Wet and Dry Cast can
be used. But there are limitations in the Dry Cast process as opposed to
Wet Cast: -
Cantera stone columns, easy homeowner installation CDI or "Can Do It" precast columns and
we do our own concrete design , CDI is short for "Can Do It"
columns, Sierra stone cast stone columns and balustrade, California precast
products, CDI "Can Do It" precast, precast moldings and stairs. We
also supply and install CDI "Can Do It" precast concrete
window and door trim, Sierra stone products, using our own concrete
design, full weight precast and granite or limestone products,
California precast columns, precast or limestone moldings and
fireplace mantles. We manufacture our own concrete molds. We have many limestone and sandstone designs installed in the Los Angeles
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Copyright © 2002 Ventura Cast Stone,
PO Box 552, Somis, CA 93066 (805) 386-8185 Fax: (805) 386-3002