Cast stone, precast concrete, GFRC products

By: Ventura Cast Stone  09-12-2011
Keywords: Natural Stone, cement, Precast Concrete

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About Ventura Cast Stone

Cast stone

We are pleased to introduce a new line of Tuscan moldings, taken from actual moldings from the Villas and grand homes of the Tuscany region of Italy.

Ventura Cast Stone product, is a truly superior alternative to natural cut building stone. Combined with its ability to simulate or reproduce an almost limitless variety of natural stones, Cast Stone offers many advantages over cut stone. Cast Stone can be integrally reinforced with steel and precisely colored through aggregates or mineral oxides. Mix designs have tested engineering values which result in a predictable durable life.

Cast stone is a highly refined architectural precast concrete stone manufactured to simulate natural cut stone. It is a masonry product that provides architectural trim and ornamentation. Used for centuries in Europe and in the United States in the 1900s, cast stone has gained widespread acceptance in the architectural community as a suitable replacement for many masonry materials and for all types of natural cut building stones. Continental Cast Stone manufactures cast stone using the VDT (vibrant dry tamp) method. A zero slump mix is compacted into a rigid mold, resulting in a finish that is virtually indistinguishable from quarried limestone. The primary advantage of this method is that it virtually guarantees the absence of air voids (also known as "bug holes") on the surface. Cast stone made by the company meets the requirements of ASTM C-1364, the Standard Specification for Architectural Cast Stone.

Strength and weathering qualities are consistently better than natural stone because the manufacturing process is controlled. Properties such as these cannot be assured in a quarried building stone. Repetitive treatment, either as trim or ornament, can be achieved quite economically in Cast Stone. The ability of Cast Stone to replicate deteriorating natural stone on existing buildings makes it an ideal material for the remodeling or restoration of old structures.

Cast Stone is a highly refined architectural building stone, usually made up of white cement and a combination of various sizes aggregates of white marble, quartz, or other durable white stone. The aggregates are numerous and are meticulously graded by sieve analysis to produce a material that is dense and lack voids.

The cast material is impervious to moisture, and will test in compression to 6,000 psi and not over 5% water absorption. The surface skin of the cement on cast stone is removed to expose the white stone (or other) aggregates, which reflect and sparkle over the matrix.

Since cast stone is a type of architectural precast stone, the question is often asked: "What is the difference between cast stone and architectural precast concrete?" The short answer is that cast stone is used in place of natural stone. As a type of building stone, cast stone is specified under the masonry division 04720. It is usually set by a masonry contractor using standard building stone anchors. Perhaps most important, and unless otherwise specified, cast stone looks like natural stone, dimensional, cut building stone. Upon close examination, the finish of cast stone looks like limestone.

To distinguish its appearance from the "pebbly with voids" appearance normally associated with concrete. This dense finish is more resistant to weather and dirt, and the fine aggregates retain the granular texture through decades of exposure to the elements. The character of Cast Stone, made as described above, is similar in color, texture, and appearance to a good grade of natural cut limestone, but is stronger, since strength can be controlled through the manufacturing process and is more impervious to water, weather, and dirt. By controlling the proportion of white and /or gray cement, manufactured or natural sands, carefully selected crushed stone or well-graded natural gravel, and mineral coloring pigments, cast stone can be made to simulate perfectly many other natural cut building stones, such as brownstone, sandstone, bluestone, granite, slate, keystone, travertine, and others.

Ventura Cast Stone product, is a truly superior alternative to natural cut building stone. Combined with its ability to simulate or reproduce an almost limitless variety of natural stones, Cast Stone offers many advantages over cut stone. Cast Stone can be integrally reinforced with steel and precisely colored through aggregates or mineral oxides. Mix designs have tested engineering values which result in a predictable durable life.

Cast stone is a highly refined architectural precast concrete stone manufactured to simulate natural cut stone. It is a masonry product that provides architectural trim and ornamentation. Used for centuries in Europe and in the United States in the 1900s, cast stone has gained widespread acceptance in the architectural community as a suitable replacement for many masonry materials and for all types of natural cut building stones. Continental Cast Stone manufactures cast stone using the VDT (vibrant dry tamp) method. A zero slump mix is compacted into a rigid mold, resulting in a finish that is virtually indistinguishable from quarried limestone. The primary advantage of this method is that it virtually guarantees the absence of air voids (also known as "bug holes") on the surface. Cast stone made by the company meets the requirements of ASTM C-1364, the Standard Specification for Architectural Cast Stone.

Strength and weathering qualities are consistently better than natural stone because the manufacturing process is controlled. Properties such as these cannot be assured in a quarried building stone. Repetitive treatment, either as trim or ornament, can be achieved quite economically in Cast Stone. The ability of Cast Stone to replicate deteriorating natural stone on existing buildings makes it an ideal material for the remodeling or restoration of old structures.

Cast Stone is a highly refined architectural building stone, usually made up of white cement and a combination of various sizes aggregates of white marble, quartz, or other durable white stone. The aggregates are numerous and are meticulously graded by sieve analysis to produce a material that is dense and lack voids.

The cast material is impervious to moisture, and will test in compression to 6,000 psi and not over 5% water absorption. The surface skin of the cement on cast stone is removed to expose the white stone (or other) aggregates, which reflect and sparkle over the matrix.

Since cast stone is a type of architectural precast stone, the question is often asked: "What is the difference between cast stone and architectural precast concrete?" The short answer is that cast stone is used in place of natural stone. As a type of building stone, cast stone is specified under the masonry division 04720. It is usually set by a masonry contractor using standard building stone anchors. Perhaps most important, and unless otherwise specified, cast stone looks like natural stone, dimensional, cut building stone. Upon close examination, the finish of cast stone looks like limestone.

To distinguish its appearance from the "pebbly with voids" appearance normally associated with concrete. This dense finish is more resistant to weather and dirt, and the fine aggregates retain the granular texture through decades of exposure to the elements. The character of Cast Stone, made as described above, is similar in color, texture, and appearance to a good grade of natural cut limestone, but is stronger, since strength can be controlled through the manufacturing process and is more impervious to water, weather, and dirt. By controlling the proportion of white and /or gray cement, manufactured or natural sands, carefully selected crushed stone or well-graded natural gravel, and mineral coloring pigments, cast stone can be made to simulate perfectly many other natural cut building stones, such as brownstone, sandstone, bluestone, granite, slate, keystone, travertine, and others.

 

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Ventura Precast Concrete Colors

Precast concrete and GFRC colors

Ventura precast concrete colors are integral, the pigments are added to the cast stone or precast concrete mix as the aggregates are being mixed. this means the product can be cut or carved and the cut surface will be the same color as the rest of the product. With cast stone, the color and also the texture of the product will be very similar to the rest of the product. We use white cement which produces clean, bright colors
Color is one of the most important aspects of architectural precast concrete and cast stone. At Ventura cast stone we can design mixes to match items such as existing precast concrete and weather-stained limestone. We can also develop mixes with the correct color tone to match closely, existing cast stone or precast. This means we can reproduce almost any cast stone product, even 200 year old stone, limestone or sandstone. The color chips on this page represent just a small sampling of the colors we can achieve with our standard materials and pigments. We do not charge extra for standard colors or texture. Non-earthtone colors that require special pigments (such as blue and green) or non-stock aggregates do cost extra. Whether the goal is to match existing materials or to simply complement new stucco color, we are the company to turn to whenever high quality architectural precast concrete or cast stone items are required.

White Portland cement used in our product. It has essentially the same properties as gray cement, except for color, which is a very important quality control issue in the industry.

The color of white cement depends on raw materials and the manufacturing process. It is the metal oxides (primarily iron and manganese) that influence the whiteness and undertone of the material. White cement is manufactured to conform to ASTM C 150, Specification for Portland Cement. Although Types I, II, III, and V white cements are produced, Types I and III are the most common.

White cements produce clean, bright colors, especially for light pastels. Many different colors can be created by adding pigments to concrete made with white portland cement. Two or more pigments can be combined to achieve a wide range of colors. White cement (or a mixture of white and gray cement) can be specified to provide a consistent color of choice. An even greater variety of decorative looks can be achieved by using colored aggregates and varying the surface finish treatment or texture.

Mix designs for white or colored concrete are formulated based on each ingredient's effect on cast stone and precast concrete color:

For every architectural project, once a mix design has been developed, sample panels should be built at the job site. These mockups serve as references for color and overall surface appearance.

White High-Performance Concrete (White HPC)

High-performance white concrete (such as high-strength or very low permeability concrete) adds high-tech appeal by incorporating materials like calcined clay (such as metakaolin), slag, or white silica fume into white cement concrete. Applications for HPC may include high-rise buildings, bridges, and parking structures.

Supplementary cementing materials may slightly alter the color of hardened concrete. Color effects are related to the color and amount of the material used in concrete. Many supplementary cementing materials resemble the color of Portland cement and therefore have little effect on color of the hardened concrete. Some silica fumes may give concrete a slightly bluish or dark gray tint and tan fly ash may impart a tan color to concrete when used in large quantities. Ground slag and metakaolin can make concrete whiter. Ground slag can initially impart a bluish or greenish undertone.


Natural and synthetic materials are used to color concrete for aesthetic and safety reasons. Red concrete is often used around buried electrical or gas lines as a warning to anyone near these facilities. Yellow concrete safety curbs are used in paving applications. Generally, the amount of pigments used in concrete should not exceed 10% by mass of the cement. Pigments used in amounts less than 6% generally do not affect concrete properties. Unmodified carbon black substantially reduces air content. Most carbon black for coloring concrete contains an admixture to offset the effect on air. Before a coloring admixture is used at a project, it should be tested for color fastness in sunlight and autoclaving, chemical stability in cementing materials and effects on concrete properties. Calcium chloride should not be used with pigments to avoid color distortions. Pigments should conform to ASTM C 979.

The Romans referred to concrete as liquid stone. It was cement that allowed the most famous monuments and constructions of the ancient world to be completed, marking the most significant change in building design the world has ever seen. With the use of cement, architects were freed from the constraints of the past, from the limitations of quarried stone and its limited strength to size, from wood and the diminutive stature its buildings always possessed. Cement enabled the ancient architects to design with their imaginations, instead of their restrictions.

As anyone in the construction business surely knows, cement has not yet stopped evolving. The science of cement manufacture and production is continuing to make great strides, enabling new and imaginative processes to be invented.

Decorative concrete is on the forefront of this growth. With such techniques as dry pack cast stone, homeowners and designers can create an unlimited array of outdoor and textured surfaces and flooring options. These all enable the designers to escape the one flaw seen with concrete: as a finish material, its starkness can be downright plain. For instance, the durability of concrete makes it perfect for a driveway, patio, sidewalk or floor, so a means to "dress up" or disguise concrete without sacrificing any of the versatility is the goal of many of these manufacturers.

Integral color

One of the first ways to transform concrete is through integral coloring. This is where pigment, usually iron oxides, is added directly to the mixer. The mix is then poured normally, producing a colored slab of concrete that will not fade because the color is literally a part of the mix. These colors can range from subtle pinks and browns to deep blues and greens.

This is usually done by adding a precisely measured bag of pigment to the concrete, taking into consideration the amount of cement, total yardage of the truck and individual properties of the chosen pigment. The drawback of this dry add-mix is apparent when trying to attain the same color for different amounts of cement. Because the pigment attaches to the cement, the same pigment added to a five-sack mix will be much darker than that of an eight-sack mix.

"By using four distinct liquid pigments, added together in the correct ratio (similar to a four-color printing process), a huge variety of color is available," then we measure and test the resulting pigment for accuracy.

Integral color has many uses for the concrete industry. Concrete roof tiles, garden accessories and pre-fab concrete pipe are all starting to use integral coloring.

Other methods of coloring concrete are more appropriate for different applications. For instance, many companies make both dry and liquid color hardeners that can be scattered or sprayed on top of newly poured concrete, and once worked into the surface, strengthen the concrete while allowing the use of any color.

Acid staining

One of the most popular methods for decorating concrete today is with the use of acid staining. Many residential and commercial customers are using this method for obtaining a durable, beautiful and relatively inexpensive way to decorate their floors.

While this concept is not new (Frank Lloyd Wright used some acid stains), innovative ideas are expanding the range of the acid stained look. Multiple stains may be used to enhance the depth of the color, grout lines may be cut into the concrete to resemble tile, or highly detailed murals or rosettes may be stained for any surface outside or inside the home.

Coupled with staining and stamping, a number of options are available for designing decorative concrete. Indeed, all of the processes described here can be mixed and experimented with, limiting designers to only what they can imagine. There are a few places for the curious designer to experiment with these options.

The most impressive thing in outdoor and indoor concrete today may be what has yet to be constructed.

 

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Keywords: Cast Stone, cement, Concrete Stone, Natural Stone, Precast Concrete

Other products and services from Ventura Cast Stone

09-12-2011

Cast stone and precast concrete products

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. Coral texture, made in precast concrete or GFRC product, rich natural stone texture resembling cut coral or keystone. The "Dry Cast" method is a two part process, a face material to give you the similar finish to natural stone.