Artificial stone is divided into four categories according to different production methods, but two categories are widely used: polyester type artificial marble (referred to as artificial marble) and cement type artificial marble (commonly known as terrazzo).
Artificial stone is an ideal decorative material because of its lightweight, high strength, corrosion resistance, pollution resistance, convenient construction, various patterns, and low price. However, there are differences in the quality of artificial stones. Artificial stones with inferior quality often have the following characteristics:
(1) Appearance quality does not meet the requirements
For artificial marble and terrazzo, the national machinery standard also stipulates the corresponding appearance requirements and divides their quality levels. The appearance of qualified artificial stone shall meet these requirements, while the appearance defects of inferior artificial stone exceed the standard range and will certainly affect the decorative effect of the finish. Therefore, appearance quality is an important factor to judge the quality of artificial stone.
(2) The decorative pattern of artificial stone is poor, especially the pattern of artificial marble designed and produced by imitating the pattern of natural marble.
Imitation artificial marble has a decorative effect that can be fake, while inferior artificial marble has a poor decorative effect because its surface pattern is not beautiful. For terrazzo, if the color of cement varieties and the color of colored stones are not well matched, it will also affect the decoration of its surface.
(3) Specifications and dimensions do not meet the requirements
For the artificial marble and terrazzo made of plates, there are also requirements for surface flatness and seam regularity during paving. Therefore, the international standards also specify the dimensional deviation and flatness requirements that they should meet, to ensure that the entire decorative surface is flat, and the line is neat. If the specification and size are not strictly controlled in the production and processing process, inferior artificial marble plates will be produced, that is, plates whose specifications and sizes do not meet the specified requirements.
(4) Unqualified physical and chemical performance indexes
As decorative stone, artificial stone is mainly selected according to the decorative performance of its surface. However, when evaluating the quality, in addition to the decorative performance, the physical and chemical properties (such as compressive strength, flexural strength, hardness, pollution resistance, corrosion resistance, durability, etc.) should also be considered. These properties are the necessary conditions to ensure the long-term performance of the decorative performance. For example, polyester artificial marble, because its main bonding material is an organic polymer material, will age and deteriorate in actual use, especially under the long-term action of sunlight, heat, and air. For the terrazzo with cement as a binder, if it is not well cured during production, there will be more pores on the surface of the plate. If it is stained with various pollutants during use, such as oil stain, lipstick, vinegar, soy sauce, ink, etc., it will be absorbed and pollute the surface, affecting the appearance.