When we talk about climate adaptation and underground water management, stone is probably not the first material you think of. And yet stone, processed in the right form, offers a very durable solution.

Stone wool is mainly known for the fireproof insulation of buildings, but it is also used to absorb water. Whether for insulation or absorption, the material is extremely durable and fully recyclable in both cases. This is all to do with the processing of the inexhaustible raw material basalt stone. Machining basalt into stone wool elements is very similar to the way stone wool is formed in nature.

The shape

Natural stone wool is often found close to volcanoes. Lava is literally molten stone, mainly basalt. This is thrown around at high speed as a result of the eruption of the volcano and then precipitates as a kind of thin fibre.

ROCKWOOL has perfected this process for the synthetic production of Rockflow stone wool elements. Here too, the raw material is basalt, and ultimately precipitates into a thin fibre. Although the shape has changed, some properties of stone are still present in the stone wool structure. And that is precisely what makes the material into one of the most sustainable for water management applications in urban areas.

Absorbing instead of insulating

The stone wool that we know from classic insulation applications does not absorb moisture. This is not an intrinsic property of stone wool fibres; the material first has to be processed. The absorbent capacity is sealed by a special coating.

The stone wool used in water management has a high level of absorbency. Once again, the processing ensures that the stone wool element has the correct properties. Due to its specific fibre structure, Rockflow consists mainly of hollow space. This allows the stone wool elements to absorb 95% of their own volume of water in a very short time.

Long service life, extremely high quality

Although we often think of hollow structures being more vulnerable materials, this is certainly not the case with Rockflow. On the contrary, the stone wool elements remain strong and dimensionally stable for decades.

The stone wool elements are re-used after the end of their life cycle. This is because the material is ideal for recycling. The ROCKWOOL Group has had its own recycling plant since 1992. Waste from the construction sector, among others, is recycled here, meaning that stone wool products consist of up to 50% of recycled raw materials. This makes stone wool one of the most sustainable solutions for rainwater infiltration buffers.

Rockflow in practice