Lapitec Just Changed the Game with Silica Free Surfacing
Move over porcelain, quartz and granite. Sintered stone just took a massive leap ahead with a zero silica surfacing material.
Why zero silica? Well, unless you’ve had your proverbial head in the caustic sand, you know that silicosis has become the buzzy bane of the countertop world of late. Silicosis is an incurable disease affecting many stone workers across the globe caused by inhaling crystalline silica into the lungs.
Crystalline silica is the jagged juggernaut of many popular surfacing materials, with its uniform, repetitive structure, it is reliable and stable as a surfacing component but lethal when airborne. Quartz, the go to countertop option for today’s cutting edge kitchen, is literally that, as it is 90% composed of cutthroat crystalline silica. Granite boasts around 50% composition and porcelains can be made in the 15-30% range.
Considered the “next asbestos,” stone fabricators are scrambling to protect themselves and their workers from exposure to this mineral. Masks and wet cutting are critical to keeping people safe. The entire supply chain, from the mineral sourcing to the countertop install crew, is at risk and must be protected.
But there is finally some good news in the silica realm! Sintered stone goes above and beyond safety compliance to completely eliminate the need for dangerous crystalline silica in a strong surfacing material.
Lapitec was founded by visionaries who are always looking to find a better way to improve upon existing materials. Constantly innovating, they have used their roots in quartz production to drive their quest for a silica free sintered stone. The company has achieved this surfacing milestone with the creation of Biorite (pronounced bee-oh-ree-tay).
Biorite (please don’t call it “bio-right,” it’s bee-oh-ree-tay) is formed by heating a proprietary mineral mix at 1600 degrees Celsius. The result is a new mineral that has effectively disarmed our deadly daggered nemesis and replaced it with something safe that retains the beneficial surfacing qualities of strength and resilience.
Biorite (hey,you in the back…“bee-oh-ree-tay”) is currently the primary mineral in Lapitec’s most popular sintered stone SKUs and the entire line is expected to be crystalline silica free by 2022.
Silicosis is going to get slice-y and dicey and surfacing and fabrication companies are scrambling to find ways to protect themselves from litigation and financial exposure.
Right now, we hear people talk about screening potential employees for preexisting silica exposure, “trying to” comply with OSHA regulations and hoping the field crews are using best practices. In the future, we now know that we can do even better than that.
How about offering silica free materials in your facility? That seems like a pretty safe place to start.
Learn more about Lapitec by scheduling a product information session here.