Materials & Design

Materials & Design

Natural stone and artificial stone materials are challenging the world of architecture and interior design.

The 31st “Marble and Stones in the World” report of 2021 highlights a growth in the stone sector for which a new record was recorded: 155 million tons of production.

The sector is characterized by important international exchanges, giving rise to import-export flows with a turnover of over $19 billion. The growth trend of artificial stone is evident, whose global export, compared to natural stone, increased from 21.5% in 2010 to 35% in 2019. In fact, designers and consumers prefer composite materials, above all for their particular characteristics of versatility and economic value.

This new type of stone stands out for its different matrix: ceramic or quartz. Physically different, the two materials are completely homogeneous to the eye and are very similar to natural stone to the point of making it difficult to distinguish one from the other.

Trends of the Future

Today, stone, which has always been used in architecture and construction, tends to be increasingly appreciated in the range of interior materials. In fact, the new trend of use, in addition to kitchen countertops or bathroom counters, is that of using artificial stone as a coating for furniture, thanks to the artificial stone’s resistance to scratches and abrasions, as well as its vast range of colors.

These new uses require extremely precise machinery capable of obtaining thicknesses of a few millimeters. Furthermore, for exteriors, the cladding of buildings (for which stone allows extraordinary retrofit operations), must be light, stable over time and resistant to atmospheric agents.

New composites allow design freedom

The industry has adapted to new trends by offering appropriate machinery for the treatment of natural stone and, even more so, the treatment of a rich range of composites. Our country exports 65.6% of the entire quantity of stone processing machines to Europe. In 2019, Italy reached a value of shipments of $862 million, becoming a leader in terms of exports of stone treatment machines. The Italian industry is recognized and appreciated for its design, safety, reliability, functionality and assistance in the start-up and development phases.

Italy is the market leader

The role of design, which is always in step with new trends, is to propose increasingly innovative solutions with the aim of greater ergonomics and safety, typical characteristics of these Made in Italy machines. Furthermore, the design of the graphic user interface accentuates the dialogue between the user and the machine. It pays attention to the operator and their safety and comfort are fundamental aspects in these new machines, whose precision, speed and solidity become essential elements in the perception of tangible and intangible value.

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