Universal Stone Products
Many stone fabrication products are designed to perform well on very specific material, substances, tools, or machinery. However, fabricators often times products designed to work with a wide variety of surfaces, substances, tooling, or machines. These kinds of products can be referred to as "Universal" products. Let's take a few moments to examine this concept as it relates to various facets of stone fabrication.
Adhesives and Universality
There are a number of specific needs regarding adhesives. And there are times when you as a fabricator are seeking equipment and/or companion products that make working multiple adhesives easier. Let's look at a few of these areas as it relates to adhesives.
One method for dispensing adhesives is via glue cartridges. As you are aware, there are various mix ratios depending on what adhesive you choose (or need) to use on a given project. Having a universal cartridge gun allows you to use one gun for multiple adhesive cartridges. A universal cartridge glue gun allows you to take one dispenser and use it for several cartridges that may have differing mix ratios.
Adhesives often times require coloring pigments. The universal nature of coloring is not necessarily a simple matter. Depending on which color of adhesive you are trying to create, you will need specific pigments. Therefore, the type of adhesive you are using may have specific requirements regarding:
- Type of Pigment Used
- How the Pigment is Mixed
- Color Selection
Universally Compatible Adhesives
Finding an adhesive product that is universally compatible with a wide range of materials is another area that sometimes is pursued. For example, are you looking for a silicone sealant that will work with stone, plastic, metal, ceramic, engineered stone? You will find that specific adhesives will be designed especially for one specific type of material.
In addition to adhesives that work on specific materials, adhesives often times have another limitation. That is the environment in which they can be used. Some adhesives are made for outdoor use, others for indoor use. Still yet, some adhesives are made for both indoor and outdoor use, but there are limitations that govern the temperatures in which these may be used. Universal adhesives though have a wide range of compatibility in one or more of these areas.
Universal Surface Treatments
Another area in which universal products are desirable is in the area of surface treatments. These are products that are applied to the surface of a material in order to treat that surface in a specific way.
Sealers With Universal Compatibility
There are products designed to be applied to the surface of stone slabs that enhance the color, seal the material to keep water and oil out, or both. At times, these treatments can be seen to perform effectively on some materials and not as well on others. Choosing a stone sealer that is formulated to work with a diverse group of materials is advantageous in many cases. So, universal sealers are important to know about if you work with a range of material.
Universal Concrete Sealer
Not all concrete is the same, the hardness, the porosity, and the life expectancy all vary based on the mix. Having a product designed to treat concrete surfaces of several mixes makes the task of sealing these surfaces simpler because you use one treatment on different concrete mixes.
Another facet of surface treatment as it regards concrete is the manner in which the concrete is being used along with its environment. Concrete is a versatile material used for everything from driveways, to lawn ornaments. It is a strong material that is often used for structural purposes. Yet, concrete can be delicate as well. For example the presence of water and metal inside a concrete structure can bring it to its figurative knees. Having a concrete sealer that works universally on concrete is beneficial.
Universal Surface Tools
Universal tools for a variety of surface types are key in effective fabrication. slabs, countertops, panels, and even flooring require tooling during manufacturing. Even after these materials are installed, they make suffer damage and need to be repaired in one way or another.
Automated Edge Polishing Wheels
Edge polishing wheels fit into the "universal" concept in a couple of ways. First, polishing wheels can be universal in the sense that they work with a spectrum of materials. The surface of the wheel in question would need to be usable on a number of materials.
Next, an edge polishing wheel's universality could be with respect to the number of machines on which it will fasten. Along this line, universal snail lock attachments make it easy to fasten abrasive tooling to compatible machines, thus making the tool more versatile.
Universal Chip Repair Kits
After the material has been manufactured and installed, there times when universal stone tools might be needed. For example, having a repair kit that is engineered to repair chips in a surface is practical. However, if the repair kit is flexible, it can be used on multiple surface materials. Such a kit includes adhesive that is mixed to match a multitude of colors and that bonds a variety of materials.
As we have seen in our discussion of universal stone products, the universality of the product is usually with regard to its compatibility with other materials, products, or substances used in stone fabrication. Additionally, the benefit to choosing universal stone adhesives, surface treatments, and tools is that they will reduce the amount of equipment you need and simplify your workflow.