What is Lithocrete®?
Lithocrete® is Shaw & Sons signature patented concrete product that provides project owners with the look of fine-quarried stone with the benefits of reinforced structural concrete. Lithocrete® is a single-pour monolithic proprietary architectural concrete paving system that utilizes the structural properties of reinforced concrete combined with the aesthetic quality of surface seeded select materials such as granite, glass, marble, limestone, pebbles, shells, and other aggregates, which allows designers to select the appropriate colors that fit with the aesthetic requirements of their projects.
Lithocrete® paving is superior to veneer-type paving finishes such as granite, slate, tile, brick, and terrazzo because Lithocrete® consists of a single, structural monolithic pour. Delamination of the paving surface is does not occur with Lithocrete®. Lithocrete® is structural concrete and is not merely a topping. Common problems of exterior toppings results from irrigation and/or ground water, which typically seeks horizontal joints between topping and structural slabs and in a short time can cause delamination. This will not happen with Lithocrete.
Lithocrete® is similar to a warehouse trap-rock slab construction made for high surface traffic, except Shaw & Sons exposes the surface materials and utilizes other procedures that allow Lithocrete® to maintain its structural integrity much longer than other architectural finishes. Aesthetically, Lithocrete®'s granite and marble products have unique fine granite or marble surfaces, and unlike slab-set granite, do not have to be flame finished or sand blasted to retain a non-slip surface. By using crushed materials, Lithocrete® retains its natural beauty and ability to reflect small amounts of light.
Almost any type of hard, durable aggregate can be used in the preparation of Lithocrete® paving. Aggregates that have been used successfully include: crushed rock (e.g. granite, obsidian, quartz, serpentine, and marble), opaque or translucent glass, gems and minerals (e.g. turquoise, agate, obsidian, quartz, pyrite, jasper, and serpentine), sea shells, beach pebbles, silica carbide, mica, "Pixie Dust," terra cotta, slate, tile, brass insets, etc.
In the past, keeping small ASR (Alkali Silica Reaction) or "reactive" aggregates embedded in the surface of concrete paving was difficult. Lithocrete®'s patented paving process permanently bonds "reactive" as well as non-reactive aggregates with lithium quartz. Lithoseal®, Lithocrete®'s patented sealer, significantly reduces the reactive condition that may exist between cement and aggregate. To ensure minimal maintenance, a one-time application of Lithoseal® is used.
Lithocrete®'s heat-fractured glass aggregate product line is ideal for projects that require the use of recycled materials. Recycled glass provides a wide range of colors not typically found with other paving materials, such as bright blues, yellows, and red. None of the glass aggregate colors will fade under sunlight; they naturally reflect light and have less heat absorption. Sea shells and other materials can give a project a natural appearance and textures, or as displayed at the Constellation Place/MGM headquarters buildings in Century City, a uniform surface with a blend of coral sand and sea shells.
Matching new add-on work is performed seamlessly using Lithocrete®. Most of the standard series Lithocrete aggregates are from quarries that have good, long-term consistency characteristics. Projects installed more than 10 years ago using Lithocrete paving can be matched almost perfectly today.
Because Lithocrete® is a single pour monolithic concrete product and uses surface-seeded aggregate, it is substantially less expensive than other veneer-type finishes such as cement or epoxy based toppings, granite, stone, limestone, brick or marble. For comparison, you should be able to install approximately 20,000 square feet of Lithocrete® to only 8,000 square feet of granite or stone paving. In addition, Lithocrete can substantially reduce maintenance costs in a short period of time for the owner.
Three US patents protect Lithocrete®: #4,748,788; #6,016,635; #6,033,146; and U.S. Trademark #1,879,329. Lithocrete® has a patent pending for power troweling any size surface-seeded aggregates of a wide variety of materials. Lithocrete® also has a patent pending for pneumatically applying surface-seeded materials that will eliminate the common unevenness of applying silica carbide, mica, granites, sands, and other small surface-applied materials.