When you look at stone composite panels as a product, you\’re essentially looking at a few products that are brought together to make up one. There is the natural stone facing, the impervious high-strength fiber-reinforced epoxy skin, the aluminum honeycomb substrate, and the bonding resin that brings it all together. When you look at the products other than the bonding resin, you see some pretty incredible examples of strength, durability and flexibility. So attention quickly turns to bond strength and the material that brings and keeps it all together.
The bonding resin found on StoneLite® could best be described as Superman\’s superglue. Thanks to curing, the epoxy resin actually gains strength over time. Also, the bonding is so strong that in most applications the bonding will outlast the natural stone facing! And, as always, Stone Panels, Inc. has the testing to prove the claims.
StoneLite® Bond Strength Testing
To gain approval from the International Coding Council (ICC), our stone composite panels had to undergo several tests. To test the flat-wise tension, bond strength must register a minimum of 50 pounds per square inch (psi). Not only that, but StoneLite® can\’t lose more than 15 percent of their original strength after an accelerated aging test which simulates a period of 30 years. Our stone veneer panels registered an impressive initial bonding strength of 385 psi.
Because the bond strength regularly exceeds the cohesive strength of marble and most granites, the first individual piece of StoneLite® that is likely to wear out is the natural stone facing. This puts the life expectancy of our stone veneer panels at whatever the minimum life expectancy is for any of the natural stone facings we use. Our Indiana Limestone lightweight stone panels currently rank as the shortest life expectancy of any of the natural stone facings found on StoneLite®. According to natural erosion characteristics defined by the Indiana Limestone Institute, the Indiana Limestone veneer on StoneLite® should last for over 300 years!
The ICC has given our stone composite panels a Class One rank. This means that they are approved for use no matter the height of the structure. Also, none of our panels have ever experienced any failure, bonding strength or otherwise.