There are a couple of things that we’ve found to be true in our day – the most revolutionary products are usually the simplest and nature can be improved upon. These two ideas are integral to our company,Stone Panels, Inc., and our product, StoneLite®.
While the process that goes into manufacturing our StoneLite® product is rather complicated, the premise behind our product is about as simple as it gets – reinforce stone with a product that is everything stone is not. This may be the best way to describe the aluminum honeycomb backing that is the essence of our product. Stone Panels, Inc. took an existing technology that had proved itself through its use on aircraft and applied it to stone. The aluminum honeycomb backing is flexible, which stone is not. The aluminum honeycomb backing is lightweight, which stone is not. In addition, the [StonePanels] composite panel system is waterproof, which stone is not.
Not only does the product improve upon dimensional stone in all of these ways, as fate would have it, attaching the aluminum honeycomb backing actually improves on a perceived advantage of traditional stone – strength. Perhaps most surprising of all, the aluminum honeycomb backing is stronger than dimensional stone. Traditional stone can actually be quite fragile and brittle in spots. But, when reinforced, builders can get the same look and feel as they would with dimensional stone, but without the fragility or brittleness.
Aluminum HoneyComb Used On Aircraft
The StoneLite® product was really just about the epiphany to pair an existing technology with a product that sorely needed it – stone. While our product’s origins can be traced back to the 1960s, the technology behind it can actually be traced back to aircraft in the 1950s. Honeycomb and epoxy resin can be found on every military and commercial aircraft built in both North America and Europe.
It was especially easy to put two and two together when you look at why the honeycomb and epoxy are used on aircraft. The most obvious property the aluminum honeycomb would have to have in order to be used in flight is its lightweight nature. But beyond a need for lightweight material, another reason that the honeycomb and epoxy were and are still being used on aircraft is because of an ability to go from one temperature extreme to another abruptly and without much effect.
These planes could potentially have to go from a desert airstrip where surface temperatures are pushing 200 degrees Fahrenheit to temperatures that are 60 or 70 degrees below Fahrenheit at 30,000 feet in a matter of minutes. That’s not to mention needing to withstand 500 to 1500 mile-per-hour wind loads while in flight. Needless to say, one look at this material and its use on aircraft and you can tell it is TOUGH.