This article was first published on Natural Paving
Passionate about offering the very best products to market, Natural Paving Products (UK) Ltd has developed a new and improved series of stone standards that have been endorsed by independent stone expert David Richardson.
Offering a detailed and completely transparent view of the quality and properties of its stone, Natural Paving Products’ new stone standards are a valuable resource to customers and specifiers wanting to make informed choices about stone purchases. Providing key information at a glance through a simple visual grading system, the stone standard has been applied to all of the company’s sandstone flagstones and block paving in its 2016 brochure.
The standards are based on CE testing results and show performance across three key areas: water absorption, flexural strength and frost resistance. Water absorption is a crucial consideration as stones with higher absorption rates are more susceptible to mould, moss, pesticides and salt.
The flexural strength of a stone is also important as it gives an indication of the stones overall durability. Measured in megapascals (MPa), the higher the number, the less chance it has of failing or delaminating once in-situ.
Finally, frost resistance should be measured and is particularly important for the UK market. Most natural stone is very resistant to frost but it can sometimes weaken the stone. Its resistance to frost is therefore measured by a percentage reduction in flexural strength after a cycle of freezing and thawing – the lower the number, the better.
The new grading system has been developed in collaboration with David Richardson, a Fellow of the Geological Society, past President of The Stone Federation and Stone Consultant at Facades and Materials Design Consultants (FMDC).
David commented: “It is important for the end user to select the right material for their project, so buying from a supplier that provides compliant and tested products is very important. Consumers should also be wary that some suppliers fabricate test data to give the appearance that they comply with the Statutory Regulations. Also, buying from a source with good ethical and sustainable credentials helps minimise abuse and other unacceptable practices within the wider supply chain. Natural Paving Products’ new stone standards are a fantastic example of supplier transparency and show a real responsibility and care for their customers.”
Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director, added: “All of our products are fully CE marked and highly durable but, with the addition of the new stone standards, our hope is that we can offer even greater peace of mind and information to equip our customers to make the best choice. We are very proud that David has applauded our efforts and has approved our standards, his endorsement as an independent expert means a lot.”