About Carapace Slate
Based just outside of Cardiff, South Wales, Carapace Slate is a revolutionary, snap-fit roof tile set to make huge waves within the construction sector. Made using the discarded materials from Wales’ industrial past, Carapace Slate is a composite, snap-fit roof tile that captures the natural beauty of quarried Welsh slate by cleverly replicating the character and colouring that is consistent with any regional variety.
Features of the carapace slate
Features of the carapace slate
1. Channel, prevents capillary action
2. Clip apertures
3. Weather bars, channels
4. Interlocking channels
5. Super thin – 5.5mm profile
6. Reinforcing truss framework
7. Interlocking ribs
8. Weather barbs
9. Retention clips
Why the world needs carapace slate
Our ambition is to help confront the issues facing the future of the construction industry; addressing skill shortages, length of build time & green construction challenges.
The effects of the UK’s ageing workforce affects the construction industry more than any other. An alarming number of today’s roofers are approaching retirement age and 22% of construction workers in the UK are aged over 50 and 15% are over 60.
The government has addressed the skills shortage by providing an extra £34m funding towards training, but the UK is still experiencing waiting times of up to 16-weeks for pitched roof materials. To fulfil the growing demand, manufacturers are turning to imported solutions but the low value of the pound coupled with supply interruptions is having a devastating effect on the industry, most particularly smaller contractors.
new roofers needed over the next five years
weeks waiting time for pitched roof materials
new homes need to be built in England alone every year for the next five years
What’s so special about Carapace Slate?
What’s so special about Carapace Slate?
The Carapace system self-aligns and fully interlocks on all sides without nails or clips, reducing the installation time from up to one hour…to just 1 min/m2 – providing you’re feeling particularly energetic and the battens are already laid .
Weighing in at just under 17kg per square meter, its amongst the lightest interlocking roof tiles available in the UK, minimising its carbon footprint and easing installation.
Available at a fraction of the cost of high quality slate and competitive against all other slate alternatives. Its rapid installation also dramatically reduces installation costs.
Our materials and manufacturing processes have been purposely developed to create a commercially desirable product, whilst still being sustainable and kind to the environment.
Up to 80% of each Carapace slate consists of wasted, surfeit material from North Wales. Our materials are not damaging to the environment and can be broken-down organically and reformed into new slates.
LOW POWER MANUFACTURE
Our unique manufacturing process dispenses the need for the explosives, high-powered presses or excessive temperatures used by many other manufacturers.
Natural Slate, particularly from Wales is an amazing material. Metamorphosed from shale and mudstone over 500 million years; its tensile strength, resilience to all mother nature can offer and its unparalleled beauty has made it arguably the most desirable roofing material throughout the world since the days of the Roman Empire.
There’s many examples of Welsh slate being reused after 400 years of faithful service and here at Carapace we’re doing our very best to pay upmost respect to its iconic heritage.
We believe in evolution, not revolution. By using some of the 700-million tonnes of discarded, waste-slate mined over many centuries of disruptive quarrying, back in the days when there simply wasn’t the technology or will for responsible extraction we’re working to reform this amazing material for the application for which it was originally intended.
Combining a distinct gradient of slate dust and grains with a part-bio resin, Carapace is a reformed composite slate-tile designed to embody the character and beauty of natural Welsh slate.
Once installed it can be considered as a sustaining innovation – perfectly replicating the archetypal natural slate roofs (see image gallery →) installed by highly skilled roofers, however we’ve thrown in some almost revolutionary, disruptive attributes to help address one of the major issues in todays construction sector. There’s just not enough people currently being attracted into the industry and there’s still a huge amount of homes needed to be built to cater for our ever-growing population.
Although you’d be hard-pushed to differentiate our tiles from the real McCoy (and we’re happy to take the Pepsi challenge), Carapace has a unique interlocking system which reduces labour time from up to one hour down to just 1 min/m2, once the battens are in place and if you’re feeling particularly energetic that day.
But the other stuff on the market?
Of course there are many clay, composite, plastic and concrete single-lap roof tiles on the market but to comply with the new British standards for slating and tiling each tile needs to be mechanically fastened to the roof using nails and clips. Aligning and attaching traditional roof tiles is a highly skilled, sometimes laborious and time consuming task – a small semi detached house covered in plain clay tiles require almost 5000 tiles and over 9000 nails!
To the best of our knowledge, Carapace is the only roof tile in the world that fully self aligns and mechanically connects without nails or screws – helping to extend the resources of skilled roofers (in an industry with an alarming shortage of workers) and hopefully also extending the competency base of general builders and labourers.
We’re also hell-bent on doing our part to bring more sustainability into the built environment, but more about that a little further down the page.
Once the roof structure and membrane has been installed in compliance with BS5532-2015, a recycled uPVC rail snaps around standard 38mm or 50mm batten which is fixed to the rafters at a fixed gauge of 260mm. A flange on the rear edge of the tile is placed into a hooked portion of the clip at approximately 70 degrees and pivoted into place. Two stainless spring-steel retention clips embedded within the lower-front edge of the tile automatically align and pass through slots in a lower row of tiles – expanding to prevent removal. If for any reason you find that you need to remove and re-lay the tile we’ll give you a tool tailor-made to get the job done.
We have a universal caddy tile for the finer details..hips, verges and ridges with more details to follow.
Even though we don’t need nails or clips to install Carapace, our shed-made prototypes have exceeded the British standards in loading and wind-uplift and can withstand the harshest weather good ol’ Blighty is predicted to throw at us over the next 50 years and beyond.
We’re currently putting Carapace through its paces; undergoing mechanical and accelerated weather testing to make absolutely sure it’ll continue to look and perform throughout its, and our lives.
When hitting the market Carapace will be suitable for general roofing applications across Europe and beyond. Plus, given its ease of installation, it’s even suitable for the more hardcore-DIYer’s looking to upgrade their garages, bungalows and outbuildings. We believe the build-speed will also make Carapace particularly attractive to larger projects; where the aggregated savings in peripheral costs such as labour, scaffolding, weather delays and access costs etc. would be enormous.
We certainly hope so! There’s mountains of surfeit slate up in North Wales looking to be up-cycled and there’s thousands of quarries across the globe who have similar waste issues which can be used to manufacture Carapace – after all, over 90% of extracted slate isn’t suitable to be used on a roof and is just waiting to fulfil its destiny!
We’ve also partnered with some great companies who’ve spent decades securing their supply chains and we have a hugely talented and creative chemical engineer on our team who’s ready to pivot regardless of what happens; and what could turn out to be a particularly precarious economic situation on the horizon.
Hell yeah. 80% of our tiles are made using some of the estimated 700 million tonnes of local slate which has already been brought to the surface. So much of the carbon used in its extraction: diggers, trucks, transport, explosives etc. has already been used, but more than this, up cycling the waste used in Carapace doesn’t require the pressure, high temperatures, chemical treatments or post-cure processes used in most manufacturing practices. In fact, it takes just 5 minutes to make our tiles from ingredient to product so the carbon embodied throughout manufacture really is pretty negligible and is dwarfed by concrete, clay, recycled plastics and many other composite tiles.
But like with most manufactured products, a robust, high-quality construction material that can take all nature can throw at it will inevitably leave a footprint; but we’re striving to make ours as small as possible without compromising on life-expectancy.
We’re currently developing a unique bio-resin made using 30% nut-oil, taking our all-natural material content up to 87% but as we grow we will of course continue to do better.
To keep inline with traditional slate installations, each Carapace covers 300mm x 300mm, or 13.6 tiles/ m2 with a super thin 5.5mm leading edge. We’re currently putting our systems through its paces but fully expect the tiles to be suitable to be used on roofs with a pitch down to 15 degrees with a constant 60mm head lap.
Carapace weighs a little under 17 kg/m2 – considerably less than slate, clay and concrete systems; meaning it will be suitable for low-pitched extensions and garages.
For full tech specs follow this link →
We’re thinking £32 (net)/m2 but this will be subject to how many further costs we incur during launch. Regardless, Carapace is significantly cheaper than high-end slate and competitive with most of the composite roof tiles available. BUT FEAR NOT..installing your roof in as little as under a day as opposed to weeks will save everyone from home-owners, trades, and developers a ton of cash; so in terms of overall project costs we expect Carapace to be amongst the cheapest on the market.
Certainly. We have granted Registered Design rights and robust, mature patent applications in the UK, every European country and the USA.
There’s loads of information to be found through a google search or please feel free to email, call or arrange to meet in person anytime – we love meeting new people!
Carapace Slate Ltd. Penarth, CF64 5SY
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