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Bretonstone is a patented technology[1][2] invented in the early-1970s[citation needed] by Breton S.p.A.,[3] a privately held company of Castello di Godego (TV) in the north-east of Italy and supplier of machines and technologies for making engineered stone. Nowadays most manufacturers of engineered stone use this patented Bretonstone system, also known as vibro-compression under vacuum.[4]


In the early-1970s Marcello Toncelli,[5] founder of Breton, started developing the Bretonstone system, which allows to produce a solid surface similar to granite, using small stone aggregates and stone-like materials. The composite material is manufactured in slabs, which can be worked as natural stone, instead of blocks that should have been cut.

Basically the vibro-compression vacuum technology,[6][7] used by Bretonstone system, consists of blending the natural aggregate of stone with a polymer mix (usually unsaturated polyester resin),[8] taking away air with a vacuum, and catalyzing the molded product whilst vibrating and applying pressure to this mix. Then the mixture is heated, and the output is a slab of non-porous and quite stable engineered stone.

The following improvements led the agglomerated stone to obtain the same hardness as granite, when siliceous stone or quartz were added in the mix.

The agglomerate produced with the Bretonstone system looks like natural stone and varies in look according to the types of stone aggregates and stone-like materials used in the process:[9]

  • granite-looking
  • one-color
  • veined marble
  • today also “exotic granite” effect
  • with colored glass inserts
  • with crystal fragments
  • with mirrors pieces
  • with semi-precious stones
  • with brass filings


  1. ^ "Process for the manufacturing of slabs or blocks of conglomerate of stone granulate and polyester resin". Justia Patents. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Bretonstone Patent". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Company profile Breton S.p.a." Hoovers a D&B Company. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  4. ^ Impelluso, Thomas J. "Italian Machines That Make Machines". San Diego State University - NewsCenter. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Marcello Toncelli Biography". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  6. ^ "History of the Breton Process". Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Compound stones in general". Kuter - Industrial investment business development. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  8. ^ Govoni, Paola. "New generation materials" (PDF). Centre for industrial studies. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Quartz: the world turns grey". Natural Stone Specialist. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.

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