Engineered stone 

Beautiful and robust 

Engineered stone is enjoying increasing popularity as an alternative to natural stone in everything from kitchen work surfaces and flooring to wash basins. Low-cost and almost indestructible, modern engineered stone is also extremely difficult to distinguish from real stone. But this success story would have been almost impossible without silanes. Silane additives not only act as adhesion promoters between sand and polymer, but also make the engineered stone tough, water repellent and easy to maintain.  

Hygiene is especially important in kitchens and bathrooms – engineered stone is greatly superior to the natural product in this regard. While work surfaces made from natural stone have a large-pored surface, the fine pores of the engineered stone, which is compacted under high pressure, prevent any liquids or bacteria from penetrating. Food can even be prepared directly on work surfaces made from engineered stone – a major benefit for both professional kitchens and visionary amateur chefs.  

Kitchen work surfaces have to contend with freshly washed vegetables or the juices of the Sunday roast dinner. Customers who choose engineered stone can enjoy their kitchen for longer, as the silanes’ moisture-repellent capabilities ensure that the engineered stone surfaces stay looking beautiful. Engineered stone is also much more resistant to scratches and knocks than natural stone.  

And when it comes to looks, engineered stone is more than a match for natural stone, especially for those who prefer refined, understated design. There are no surface bumps or busy marbling – typical properties of natural stone – to worry about. And with engineered stone available in any color and texture, the only limit is the designer’s imagination. 

Dynasylan® bonds plastic with stone powder  

Engineered stone is made up of 90 percent stone powder, mixed with silanes and synthetic resins such as acrylate and epoxy resins. The most common engineered stones are made from quartz composite, which consists mainly of quartz powder. The starting material is then poured into the liquid synthetic resin. 

Although silanes make up just 0.1 to 1.0 percent of the material, they are essential. Without them, the various components cannot bond together. Dynasylan® from Evonik also makes the engineered stone harder and more resistant to scratches and liquids. 

One problem of engineered stone is its sensitivity to UV radiation: In direct sunlight, surfaces can change color over time. Silanes improve the performance in this case, too, increasing UV resistance so that colors retain their brilliance.

Stone casting goes as far back as the Romans 

Engineered stone is by no means a recent invention – even the ancient Romans used stone casting processes to produce statues and busts. Today, the engineering stones market is enjoying growth in high single figures. Besides, if all kitchen work surfaces, floors and wall cladding was made from real marble, all the world’s marble quarries would already be empty (german only). 

The benefits at a glance: 

  • Optimized adhesion of polymer and stone powder 
  • Enhanced dispersion of fillers in the polymer matrix 
  • Silanes make the end product resistant to scratches, impacts and UV  
  • Silanes are hydrophobic and dirt-repellent