Artificial slate and shakes fall into the common category of shingle products in that they are steep-slope roofing products overlapped to shed water to the edges of a building.
There are many demands on shingles. To function successfully, they must be shaped and oriented to shed water reliably. Shingles also must be durable so they can be safely installed and maintained throughout their expected life spans, resist wind and perform effectively under local weather conditions. And because most steep-slope roof systems are visible, shingles must be attractive, retaining their desired appearance throughout their expected life spans.
The history of artificial slate and shakes made from fiber-reinforced cement is a mix of success and failure. But this is not surprising when you review how the changes occurred within the industry.