A Look At Ultracompact Surfaces
One of the newer product categories in the stone industry is the category of Ultracompact Surfaces. you will find variations of the term. For example, Ultra Compact Surfaces, Ultra-compact surfaces and Ultracompact Surfaces are all variations that we have seen. But, what is the material? How is it made? and why is it growing in popularity? This article will consider each of those questions.
What Are Ultracompact Surfaces?
As mentioned above, Ultracompact Surfaces are a relatively new category of material that are in a class of their own. They do not fall into the natural stone category in the fullest sense of the word, but they are composed of natural materials. Because they contain no resins, Ultracompact Surfaces do not fall into the engineered stone category either. As a result, these materials form a class of their own. Ultracompact Surfaces have some distinct characteristics.
Ultracompact Surface Characteristics
Don't be confused about what Ultracompact Surfaces are. Because of the visual properties, it can be easy to confuse Ultracompact Surfaces with other materials that look similar. Porcelain surfaces are one such material. Yet there are differences between the two. We have composed an article talking
about porcelain surfaces so you can learn more about that material. Here, we will only discuss the characteristics of Ultracompact Surfaces.
One characteristic Ultracompact Surfaces that designers and architects like is that these kinds of materials can be produced in sheet form and a variety of colors and visual patterns and textures can be designed. In fact a number of brands of Ultracompact Surfaces currently exist. The table further down in this article lists some of these brands. Looking at each brand of Ultracompact Surface shows that each has a distinct formula for the surface and the terminology varies slightly.
Ultracompact Surface Brands
Another characteristic of Ultracompact Surfaces is that htey have no resins. This distinguishes them from engineered surfaces. Engineered materials like quartz surfaces contain resins along with the minerals. You can discover more
about quartz surfaces here on our site.
So, Ultracompact Surfaces are different from other materials and they have distinctive properties. But how are these surfaces made?
Making Ultracompact Surfaces
How Ultracompact Surfaces (sometimes called "sintered stone") are made is big part of what distinguishes them from other materials. They are created my means of a
sintering process using very specific formulas and ingredients. Each company has its proprietary formula and method although the process is similar. As mentioned earlier, these surfaces are different from porcelain in very specific ways. You can delve into the
differences between Porcelain and Ultracompact Surfaces if you like. But simply stated, the minerals and the sintering process is different enough that the result is a completely different material with noticeable distinctions.
By subjecting the raw minerals to intense heat and various other forces, producers of Ultracompact Surfaces cause the molecules to behave in a way that transforms the material into a vary hard mass that can then be cut into sheets (or slabs, if you will) and used for a variety of applications. These Ultracompact Surfaces continue to grow in popularity and are referred to by some as the next dominant material in the stone industry. But Why are they growing in popularity?
Why Is Ultracompact Growing In Popularity?
It's only natural to ask why this category of surface material is growing in popularity. After all, it is a relatively new classification of surface. The reasons for it's popularity have to do with some of its features. It is often said about Ultracompact Surfaces that , "they are as durable as natural stone and easier to care for than engineered quartz." What does that statement mean?
Durability Means Popularity
Consumers what a material that is durable. Durability means the price paid for a surface goes farther because it lasts longer. So what makes Ultracompact Surfaces durable?
One feature that affects durability is the scratch resistance of Ultracompact Surfaces. These materials are so hard that they simply are highly scratch resistant. Companies advertise the scratch resistance by showing chefs and others cutting vegetables and other foods directly on the countertop without a cutting board. Although this may dull knives, it does highlight the strength and durability of Ultracompact Surfaces.
Another property of Ultracompact Surfaces that make them durable, and therefore popular, is their resistance to staining. Since these surfaces are non-porous, all substances stay on the surface of the material. Liquids do not penetrate the pores of the Ultracompact Surface in order to discolor it. This means Ultracompact Surfaces look new longer and maintain their appearance even after years of use.
Finally, Ultracompact Surfaces are durable and popular because they are very compatible with many chemicals and cleaners. Now we already said that these surface do not stain as easily and that substances stay on the surface. So, you might be asking, "why would anyone need to use chemicals on an Ultracompact Surface?" Well, think about some of the following substances:
- Tire Rubber
- Ice Cream
- Nail polish
- Candle Wax
That list may seem a bit far-fetched for a countertop surface. But remember, these materials are usable for wall cladding and flooring as well as countertops. So, removing "tire rubber" is actually a realistic cleaning need. In fact there are so many types of substances that yo may need to remove from an Ultracompact Surface you may need to use one of the following:
- Alkali Detergent
In order to know which type of cleaner to use, see the care and maintenance information for your material or find a brand of
cleaner for Ultracompact Surfaces and follow the instructions supplied by the company of the cleaner.
In conclusion, there are a number of Ultracompact Surfaces available for your project, and now you have an idea how these materials are made, and why they are gaining popularity for all sorts of applications.