Researchers give green light to silica-free stone

University of Adelaide researchers have confirmed that a new kitchen product is "a true and silica-free alternative" to engineered stone.

By Jarrod
3 Min Read

University of Adelaide researchers have dubbed a revolutionary new kitchen product a “true and silica-free alternative” to engineered stone.

With the Junes engineered stone ban fast approaching, stone manufacturer SilkSurface has unveiled a 100 per cent silica-free replacement for the killer benchtops. 

This new-and-improved material has ditched the deadly silica for pressure-formed bauxite and polyester binder, with the sellers’ website claiming the result “is guaranteed safe” and “will last a lifetime”.

The company says they began investigating safe-quality kitchen stone benchtop alternatives as engineered stone’s future becomes unclear over the course of 2023. 

“Today, we can confirm that this product has been proven 100 per cent silica free through independent testing undertaken by the University of Adelaide’s School of Public Health,” said Ben Scott from SilkSurface.

“For some time, we have been developing a product to provide customers with an alternative to engineered stone prior to the Government’s discussion around its future in homes and offices.

“The fact is that customers want a quality product which looks good, which is affordable, and which can be manufactured in a way which is safe for workers.”

A new era of safe stone

Prior to 2018, nearly one in four engineered stone workers employed in the industry were diagnosed with silicosis or other silica dust related diseases.

With signs of silicosis sometimes taking years to present, experts expect this number to rise. The number of workers with silicosis and other dust diseases in Australia is currently unknown.

Mr Scott said the incoming ban has forced the industry to deliver better products for both customers and workers. 

“This is an example of industry responding in an innovative way to regulation, and we look forward to getting the product onto shelves in the new year,” he said.

“Our product, SilkSurface, offers the same look and feel of engineered stone with great durability, improved stain resistance and excellent heat resistant qualities.

“SilkSurface is easily installed as it is compatible with the current machinery used by cabinet makers and stone masons.

The national ban on engineered stone products will come into effect on July 1st. 

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.