Surface treatment for alabaster
Although the aesthetic qualities of alabaster are rich, its natural technical characteristics can pose a challenge. In order to protect the material over time, and still reveal its natural beauty, Atelier Alain Ellouz has developed specific techniques called Stonelight.
The constraints of alabaster
The richness of patterns within the alabaster is due to variation in density and crystallization. Amongst those are fragile veins where the alabaster plate may weaken.
The gypsum alabaster that we use has a hardness between 1.5 and 2, which is low (marble is 4-5, quartz is 7, and diamond 10), and prone to scratching.
Alabaster is sensitive to heat and shock. At 70°C its inner structure is altered, and the stone looses its transparency. Any impact on untreated alabaster leaves a dull white mark on the surface of the stone.
Untreated alabaster is porous, and penetrating liquids may stain.
Alabaster’s specific crystallization which gives it its transparency is unstable under the sun. It will naturally darken and yellow under UV rays and exterior aggressions.
This technique encloses the alabaster within an invisible structure, thus adding resistance to flex.
Shock and scratch protection
This treatment encapsulates the alabaster within one or more layers according to usage: a SOLO Art will recieve a lighter treatment than a SOLO Furnishing integrated into a bar top.
Sealing the surface
This treatment seals every pore of the surface, and permits resistance against different degrees of aggresivity.
Anti UV treatment
This treatment is applied to those pieces which will be exposed to daylight.
The transparent qualities are then preserved.