Epoxy granite is a composite material made of epoxy and granite. It has 10x better vibration dampening than cast iron and up to 3x better than natural granite.
Epoxy granite (or synthetic granite) is a composite material composed of epoxy and granite. Because epoxy granite boasts better vibration dampening (up to ten times better than cast iron and up to three times better than natural granite), it is sometimes used in place of cast iron and steel in situations where vibration is an important factor.
Epoxy Granite Uses
Epoxy granite is most often used as a base for machine tools which require high stiffness, long-term stability, and excellent damping abilities. Because cast iron requires an expensive machining process to create precision surfaces after casting, epoxy granite (which does not require expensive post-cast machining and has a higher damping coefficient than cast iron) is often an appealing alternative. The same is true of epoxy granite’s use with respect to natural granite.
How to Manufacture Epoxy Granite
Epoxy granite tools are produced through casting by first mixing granite aggregates with an epoxy resin at ambient temperature in a process known as cold curing. The aggregate is then tightly packed together through vibratory compaction during the molding process. No post-cast machining is required in this case because the surface of the cast part is as good as the inside of the mold.
Epoxy Granite Benefits
In addition to vibration dampening, epoxy granite boasts a myriad of mechanical advantages including a high chemical resistance to most solvents and cutting fluids commonly used. Epoxy granite also boasts an increased flexibility and ease in product construction as multiple components can be integrated into one casting and inserts can be included in the casting process to reduce the amount of post-cast machining necessary. Also, epoxy granite production does not require a uniform wall thickness or painting (further increasing the design flexibility and ease of production of epoxy granite parts). Interestingly, epoxy granite composite has a density approximately equal to that of aluminum (with thicker pieces for equivalent strength) and the casting process uses significantly less energy than metallic castings do because they are performed at room temperature. However, epoxy granite does have a few downsides including a low shock resistance and low tensile strength especially in thin sections less than one inch.
Epoxy granite is already well-established in the field that it is used in most frequently and therefore is not expected to experience a significant surge in use in the coming decades. However, it is possible that future research will uncover new and exciting uses for the staple in the machine tools industry, most likely in applications that require the high vibration dampening epoxy granite is known for.