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What is ‘lightened’ marble?

Lightweight marble’ is a composite material consisting of natural stone and Honeycomb (aluminium cells encased in impregnated glass fabric). Its construction makes it very versatile and, compared to traditional marble, it does not have many limitations in terms of use.

Another variable to consider is the diameter of the Honeycomb’s hexagonal aluminium cells, the smaller they are the more durable they are.

What does it look like?

We make lightweight marble composite panels by bonding thin slabs of stone to support panels with a lighter specific weight. These backing panels can be made of aluminium honeycomb, polypropylene or high density polyurethane foam.

Honeycomb panels consist of honeycomb aluminium cells enclosed in two outer skins of fibreglass or aluminium.

Their characteristics of lightness, rigidity and compressive strength make them suitable for use in the aeronautical and naval sectors.

The polypropylene panels also have a honeycomb structure and retain the same lightweight characteristics as aluminium, with the advantage of being backlit.

Polyurethane foams can be of different densities and combine lightness with the possibility of making thick panels on which holes can be drilled for fixing systems in general.

Lightweight marble panels are made by joining a stone slab, usually 2 cm thick, to two lightweight support panels, one on each side. Marble and honeycomb are glued using two-component epoxy glues that guarantee a perfect and homogeneous seal by means of machinery that creates a “vacuum” that helps to better distribute the adhesives and eliminate the presence of air that could weaken the structure of the panel.

What is lightweight marble - Prato Marmi
Why is it called lightweight marble?

The average weight of a 20 mm thick marble slab is approximately 58 kg per square metre while the average weight of a lightweight slab is 16 kg per square metre. This is why it is called “lightened marble”.

Disadvantages

Lightweight marble is a versatile solution that has the following advantages:

  • The possibility of using the stone in contexts where weight is a determining factor
  • The slabs are flexible and particularly resistant
  • Installation is quicker due to reduced weight
  • There is the possibility of producing pre-assembled elements that are easy to install
  • Using more expensive materials, lower costs for the same surface area

Uses and applications

With a few rare exceptions, light marble can find the same uses as traditional marble.

Thanks to its lightness, easy installation and superior impact resistance and flexibility capabilities, lightweight marble panels are particularly suitable for application in all those cases where weight reduction is an absolute priority, justifying the investment in complex processing:

  • Furniture coating
  • Naval sector (yachts)
  • Aeronautical sector
  • Tables
  • Consoles
  • Lift covers
  • Furniture coverings

Lightened marble is a solution that brings the particularity of the most precious natural stones to surfaces that normally could not support their weight, without compromising all the characteristics of marble.

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