Stone wool is literally legendary. Strings of molten stone, found after volcanic eruptions in Hawaii, were once thought to be the hair of the temperamental goddess Madame Pele, who tore it out in an uncontrollable rage. While the myth may not hold much weight in modern society, stone wool is worthy of consideration of another sort. The basalt-based material is sound-absorbent, fire- and water-resistant, and energy-efficient.
Rockwool International began producing stone wool more than 70 years ago, using a patented process to melt volcanic rocks and turn them into a fibrous material. Now Rockfon Group, the corporation’s subsidiary that creates ceiling tiles, has brought the technology to North America.
“It’s the porous nature of stone wool that enables Rockfon ceilings to absorb sound from all angles,” explains Chris Marshall, the sales director of Rockfon Group's North American division. But the advantages go far beyond eliminating the “cocktail party” effect of conver-sations echoing throughout a room. The tiles are comprised of 74–97 percent recycled materials. High thermal insulation and light reflection help save energy, while fire and water resistance prevent changes in shape or performance, allowing for an exceptionally long product life. And Rockfon has no worries about running out of resources— there is enough basalt in the world to support stone wool production for ten million years.
Rockfon ceilings are made from basalt mixed with foundry coke, creating renewable stone wool.
The sound-absorbent tiles resist temperatures up to 2150° F and are hydrophobic, so they don’t sag, lose their shape, rot, or allow fungal growth.
Depending on a client’s needs, different options are available for hospitals, universities, offices, and parking garages.