Tenax SpA headquartered in Italy is a leading manufacturer & supplier of stone related materials such as resins, abrasives, diamond cutting tools, polishes among others. The Company, over the years has reinforced its global presence with seven foreign branches that contribute to the worldwide distribution of products. Arshaan Anees National Head of Sales and Marketing for Tenax India talks to Buildotech about the Company operations in India and its products
Indian stone market
India, which is a natural reservoir for various stones is one of the top three nations in the world when it comes to high quality natural stone exports. Until the 80’s, all stones in India were processed without epoxies and from the 90’s almost every stone processed here has been resined using epoxies. Today stones from across the globe like Brazil, Norway, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Africa etc are processed in India. These stones need to be treated with correct epoxies.
Importance of epoxies and their applications?
All natural stones have different characteristics and hence have to be treated differently to either hide their defects or enhance their beauty and sometimes both.
An epoxy can be used to enhance the strength of stones. While using heavy slabs of granite or marbles on facades or on the walls of the building, if cracks are present on the slabs then breakage is possible leading to serious consequences. An epoxy can ensure these cracks are filled and the stones are strengthened microscopically. In some stones you will find very minute holes which cannot be seen easily but can be felt when one walks on it, the epoxies make sure these are filled and leave a level surface.
In order to enhance the color in stones various epoxies based on high and less viscosity are used. Some stones are naturally dull and need help in enhancing its colour, epoxies can be used for this. Further to achieve high gloss polished finish, abrasives are used and to attain different finishes on stones, brushes are used.
Market potential for engineered stones in India
Natural stones exhibit a variety of pros and cons. If we look at the cons for instances, natural stones have variations in their colour, they have cracks which if not taken care and filled properly can lead to material breakage. The cost of natural stones due to its nature can be more expensive and the availability of exactly the same type of stone for future use may not be possible. However to overcome this Engineered stones are manufactured and hence there is a good market for these products in India. These products are chosen for their uniformity and lesser defects as compared to natural stones and most importantly their low costs. Many Indian companies are investing in world class production plants to cater to this industry.
Awareness in India about the right kind of polishing and coatings for natural stones
In the industrial segment, factory owners travel around the world visiting factories to understand different methods used to enhance the quality of products. Through research they discover various methods and apply it while manufacturing of products. Most methods are standardized across the globe and hence the awareness level seems to be good.
But, the retail sector faces a challenge. The common man is mostly dependent on the contractor at work or the laborer, who does the fixing of the stones. The awareness at this level is minimal and is dependent on suggestions. Some experienced contractors know the right product to use and will not compromise on the price whereas other might just look at cheaper alternatives. There is scarce knowledge due to the lack of technical training.