architecture - engineering - construction

StonePly Cladding Compared to Traditional Stone Cladding


StonePly Cladding Compared to Traditional Stone Cladding

Blast Load

The curtain wall is the protective envelope of a building and as such becomes the first line of defense in a bomb blast or accident. Currently, all new federal buildings in the United States and all United States Embassies built on foreign soil must have resistance to bomb blasts.

StonePly panels are flexible by nature thanks to their aluminum honeycomb backing. This flexibility allows the panels to deform and absorb the blast energy, without shattering.

Traditional stone cladding is extremely dangerous when shattered. Chunks of heavy stone raining down is, needless to say, a safety hazard. In the event that the stone face of a StonePly cladding panel is shattered or fractured, the stone remains adhered to the aluminum backing, keeping safe the civilians, first-responders, and remaining structure below.

Dead Load

With a low weight compared to thick stone slabs, StonePly reduces the dead load on the curtain wall structure. Weighing just 3.5 lbs. per square foot, about the same as 3/8" glass, StonePly greatly reduces the gravity load on the curtain wall assembly compared to common stone cladding.


Due to its rigid nature, thick building stone panels are not able to flex the same way as aluminum. This causes difficulties in stone curtain wall design and detailing. Unlike thick stone cladding, StonePly is ductile and flexible. It can sway and move with the curtain wall without cracking.

Fire Safety

In a fire, solid stone cladding can shatter and break from the intense heat, jeopardizing the lives of firefighters and others below.

Thanks to its lighter weight and aluminum reinforcing, StonePly limits the risk posed in a fire. In fact, StonePly has an ASTM E-84 flame spread index of 5 and a smoke contribution index of 5. The "smoke contribution" of StonePly is primarily water vapor and can vary by stone type. This gives StonePly a Class A per the NFPA standard or Class 1 per the UBC standard.

Read more about StonePly fire testing and ratings.


There does not exist a natural building stone that is 100% air and water tight. While some granites can require hours of soaking rains to allow moisture to penetrate, travertines will allow moisture to practically flow through them like a sponge.

However, the aluminum honeycomb backing of StonePly is impermeable, which keeps the structure behind mold and rust free.

Read more about StonePly's backing options.

Seismic Load

Lightweight StonePly panels offer a resilient, flexible and inherently safer cladding material than common stone cladding.

Thermal Insulation

StonePly is thinner than common stone curtain wall cladding. This allows the use of more insulation in the curtain wall and translates into real energy savings.

Wind Load

StonePly is tested up to a 200psf wind pressure! Large missile testing has proven its ability to survive hurricane force winds and wind blown debris that normal stone cladding cannot.

#StonePly #StonePlyHoneycomb #RealStone #NaturalStone

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