drymix.info News 194/2017

Trouble reading this e-mail? View it it in your browser window.

drymix.info Newsletter 195/2017; ISSN Number 1613-0111; 21. June 2017


Grenfell Fire: Yet another Catastrophe Using Aluminium Composite Panels

a Commentary by Ferdinand Leopolder

The recent inferno in London's Kensington district (Grenfell Building, built ca. 1970, renovated 2016, 24 floors, 120 low-income housing flats) has caused many casualties and huge damage, many people are still missing and feared to be dead.

What caused this tragedy has not yet been determined, but one thing is for sure: the fire in the tower sped up tremendously when it reached the new facade, and once this facade got burning, attempts for rescue and extinguishing were no longer possible. Greedy landlords (it is time to mention names: Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation) in cooperation with ignorant planners and reckless contractors (Rydon Contractors) had chosen materials for the "upgrading" (rather "facelifting") of the building that were a known fire hazard. Aluminium Composite Panels (it is not clear yet if they were polyethylene or polystyrene-backed) are not suitable for use on facades if the back is combustible. Those facades are back ventilated, and, if no horizontal barriers are installed, the voids create a chimney and the resulting draft forces fires at high speed upwards, engulfing the building with a wall of fire that can not be extinguished nor penetrated for rescue.

This fire will not remain a singular event, around the world, from China to the Middle East (here especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi), inparts of Europe and the US, those ticking time-bombs have been used in new construction of high rises and the refurbishment of existing buildings. Legislators have to adapt regulations that ensure the safety of the tenants in high rises all around the world.

This building was not safe to begin with, major regulations (e.g. sprinklers, evacuation flow, no horizontal barriers) were disregarded by the management. But with a decent set of rules in place large damage could have been prevented and the tenants could have been evacuated with no or little casualties: a mineral based External Insulations and Finishing System (EIFS or ETICS) using flame retardant EPS and the non-combustible barriers as specified e.g. in the German building code (see MEDMA Technical Bulletin 10) up to 22 m and mineral wool insulation above that level would have prevented this catastrophe.

We ask all building operators, contractors and consultants - as well as the industry providing such dangerous panels to think about where such facades were installed and see to their immediate removal and replacement by safe systems.

Our hearts are with the families that lost their relatives or friends in the fire.

News 195/2017: Content

1. 2nd Central American Drymix Mortar Meeting, Mexico City, 27.6.17: over 100 Participants!
2. Founding Meeting of Malaysia Drymix Mortar Manufacturer's Association on 26.7.17 in KL
3. 16th Baltimix, 28. to 30. August 2017, Kazan, Tartarstan, Russia: Supported by drymix.info
4. Second Iran Drymix Mortar Meeting at Iran Building Ministry, Tehran, 9.10.2017: Call for Papers Extended to 30. June 2017
5. ladmmc five, São Paulo, Brasil, 26. October 2017: Preliminary Program
6. Future: TB 12, Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, Moscow, Sydney, Mumbai, Las Vegas and beyond...
7. Exova (Admaterials) Singapore Joins SEADMA as a Partner
8. HeidelbergCement Takes over Cemex Operations in Oregon and Washington (USA)
9. BASF to Sells its PCM Business to Microtek Laboratories
10. GTM Acquires Brasilian Distributor Quantiq
11. PPG Withdraws its Takeover Bid for Akzo Nobel

1. 2nd Central American Drymix Mortar Meeting, Mexico City, 27.6.17: over 100 Participants!

Over 100 delegates from throughout the region have already registered for The Second Central American Drymix Mortar Meeting on 27. June 2017 at Holiday Inn Plaza Universidad, Mexico City. For the second time, mortar experts from throughout Central America and the Carribbean meet the international crowd for scientific lectures and intensive networking. Lectures are being held predominantly in Spanish language, simultaneous translation is available both ways for all delegates.

We are happy to announce that there will be a cocktail reception after the comprehensive lecturing program, thanks to the additional support by J. Rettenmaier & Söhne (JRS), Haver & Boecker and Kerneos (thanks a lot!).

Admission to the Second Central American Drymix Mortar Meeting is 335 Euro, reduced admission for members of drymix.info is 275 Euro. Drymix mortar manufacturers pay only 180 Euro.

2. Founding Meeting of Malaysia Drymix Mortar Manufacturer's Association on 26.7.17 in KL

The formation phase of the Malaysia Drymix Mortar Manufacturer's association MDMMA) is completed, the core team has established the constitution, the Founding Members are Affordable Abodes, DuraBuilt, Easy-Fix /Ezi Mortartech, GreenCast/Gema Melodi, LafargeHolcim, Parex, Pye Products and S3 Technologies. Attention drymix mortar manufacturers in Malaysia: It is still time to register as Founding Member! Please enquire with us.

MDMMA invites all interested mortar manufacturers and other professional observers to join the festive formation. Malaysia's Construction Industry Development Board CIDB and Malaysia Master Builders Association MBAM will also join the ceremony. SEADMA and the new MDMMA are still encouraging raw material suppliers to sponsor this event in order to get the new association started off well...

The Founding Ceremony takes place at Seri Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on 26. July 2017 from 11:00 to 13:00, followed by a light snack. Founding Members can delegate 2 persons free of charge, all additional personnel is charged at MYR 100 per person. Observer admission for mortar manufacturers and members of SEADMA is MYR 400. All other observers pay MYR 800 (sorry, we published the wrong prices in our last newsletter).

3. 16th Baltimix, 28. to 30. August 2017, Kazan, Tartarstan, Russia: Supported by drymix.info

Moscow State University of Construction (MCU, Prof. Pustovgar) and St. Petersburg State University for Architecture and Civil Engineering are inviting to their traditional summer get-together: The 16th International Conference Baltimix is taking place this year in Kazan, Tartarstan, Russia from 28. to 30. August 2017. The event features a comprehensive lecturing program as well as many social activities and amazing excursions on the Volga river.

drymix.info is supporting this traditional industry getogether, members can enquire with us concerning sponsoring or admissions, we can however not assist in the Visa process for Russia. With the organizers, Quintet Agency, drymix.info is also planning the Fourth Russian Mortar Days, set to take place in early 2018 at MCU in Moscow.

4. Second Iran Drymix Mortar Meeting at BHRC, Tehran, 9.10.2017: Call for Papers Extended to 30. June 2017

The Iran Construction Chemicals Association ICCA, the Iran Mortar Association IMA  and drymix.info, The International Community for Drymix Mortars invite to the Second Iran Drymix Mortar Meeting, taking place in Tehran on 9. October 2017 (immediately after Iran Concrete Days). With great pleasure the organizers are announcing the location: the meeting is endorsed by and hosted at the campus of Iran Roads, Housing and Urban Develpment Ministry BHRC near Pardisan Park, Tehran.

The Call for Paprs for this meeting has been extended and will end on 30. June 2017, the program and the sponsors will be announced in July. Admission to the Iran Drymix Mortar Meeting is 350 Euro, reduced admission for members of drymix.info is 270 Euro. Drymix mortar manufacturers pay only 140 Euro.

5. ladmmc five, São Paulo, Brasil, 26. October 2017: Preliminary Program

For the fifth time, drymix mortar experts meet in São Paulo for the Latin American Drymix Mortar Conference ladmmc five. The full day technical event takes place again at Espaço Transatlântico, São Paulo, Brasil, on 26. October 2017. Rest assured that we have also alotted enough networking time for the exchange of ideas between the delegates. The Technical Chairman of ladmmc five is Mario Kristeller. The Drymix Mortar Yearbook 2017 will be distributed on this occasion, along with our sponsor's information.

Mario Kristeller has put together a preliminary program. He is currently in discussion with Saint Gobain Weber, Votorantim, Parex and Cimental concerning their technical papers, those titles will be published later on. We are listing the accepted submissions as of today below (subject to change without notice):

Actemium, Valérie Audiau: A Software Suite Dedicated to Piloting of  Drymix Mortar Plants
Aditex, Marcelo Utida: The Influence of Modified Calcium Sulfo Aluminate Cement on the Resistance of Cementitious Mortars
Buntech (Münzing), Dr. Nicholas Büthe: Reduction of Shrinkage in Cement-based Building Products
Dow Construction Chemicals, Luísa Scolari: Synthesis and Characterization of Cross-linked Cellulose Ethers and their Use in Cement Tile Adhesives
Formitex, Antonio Fernando de Almeida: HPMC: Aspects regarding the product from the first Methylcellulose Plant in Latin America
Kerneos, Andressa C. Assunção Rego: A Comparative Study of Accelerated Tile Adhesive Mortars with Calcium Aluminate Binders or Calcium Formate
Organik Kimya, Tamer Tezel: Performance Comparison of Different Monomer Compositions for Long Term Water Resistance of Powder Polymers in Cementitious Mortar
Poraver, Dr. Michael Monz: Volume Based Formulations – an Easy Way to Introduce Lightweight Aggregates

Admission to ladmmc five is (unchanged from 2015!) 310 Euro per person, reduced for members of drymix.info to 270 Euro, there is again a specially reduced admission for Mortar Manufacturers which is only 170 Euro per person (was 230 Euro last time!). We also offer the possibility to pay via bank transfer in Brasil. For group admissions for sponsors, please enquire with us.

6. Future: TB 12, Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, Moscow, Sydney, Mumbai, Las Vegas and beyond...

6.1. Production of Technical Bulletin 12: Deadline for Submissions is 31. July 2017

The Middle East Drymix Mortar Association MEDMA e.V. and The South East Asia Drymix Mortar Association SEADMA, Ltd. are encouraging submissions for their Technical Bulletin 12 (TB 12, ISBN 978-3-9816240-5-2). Members and Partners, but also third parties are welcome to propose technical or market-oriented articles or case studies, as well as advertisements. The TB 12 will again be printed in full color. Since there is no overlap with Drymix Mortar Yearbooks (DMYB), you might also consider re-running articles or advertorials contained in DMYB 2017, please enquire with us.

6.2.The 12th Annual SEADMA Conference, 23. November 2017, Jen Hotel Puteri Harbor, Malaysia

The South East Asia Drymix Mortar  Association SEADMA is inviting to its 12th Annual Conference. This SEADMA event was initially planned to take place in Singapore. But we changed the location: The formation of the Malaysia Drymix Mortar Manufacturer's Association MDMMA (we reported earlier) has led the Executive Committee (EC) of SEADMA to move it to Jen Hotel Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya Johor, Malaysia. Never heard of the place? It is just across from Singapore (via the second link near Tuas), so we find this is a good compromise. Especially since Jen Hotel is a brand new venue by the Shangri-Là Group and Lego Land is just around the corner (bring your family ;-). According to the majority vote of the participants the 12th Annual SEADMA Conference in Jakarta 2016, it will start (11:00) and finish late (19:00), so we can plan a casual evening gathering, the support of sponsors provided. The program of the 12th Annual SEADMA Conference wil be published in July.

6.3. The Second Asia Mortar Summit, Sharjah, 26. November 2017

In cooperation with The Middle East Drymix Mortar Association MEDMA and Sharjah Research Academy, drymix.info will stage its Second Asia Mortar Summit in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates on Sunday, 26. November 2017 (location tbd.). The 2nd Asia Mortar Summit will focus on the production and formulation of all types of drymix mortars, raw materials, environmentally compatible construction technology, efficiency increase on and around the jobsite and consistent standardisation of drymix mortars. Mortar experts from throughout Asia, Africa and Europe are expected to this international summit. The Technical Committee is being led by Ferdinand Leopolder, it consists of Prof. Dr. Mufid Samarai, Sharjah, Naheed Younis, Dubai, Dr. Tanate Srisirirojanakorn, Thailand, Gopinathan Chemmanoor, India and Lu Jin Ping, Singapore.

Similar to the First Asia Mortar Summit in Mumbai, India back in 2015, practical demonstrations are also encouraged. A Call for Papers is available for this event from drymix.info, it expires on 30. June 2017. Attention supporters: there will be special and exclusive sponsoring options (Platinum, Diamond) available for this particular event only. These options are not featured in our common List of Services. They are being offered strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis (also applies for lanyard and conference bag as usual).

Admission to the Second Asia Mortar Summit is 350 Euro, reduced admission for members of drymix.info, SEADMA or MEDMA is 270 Euro. Drymix mortar manufacturers pay only 200 Euro. Special invitation packages are available for consultants and contractors. In order to encourage mortar manufacturers coming from Europe, South-East or Eastern Asia, we are preparing special travel packages with our sponsors, please enquire with us.

6.4. Outlook into 2018

December 2017: Production starts for the editing of Drymix Mortar Yearbook 2018, to be released in Mumbai and Las Vegas in 2018 (see below)
January 2018, Moscow (excat date tbd.): The fourth Russian Mortar Days are currently in preparation in cooperation with Moscow State Construction University MCU and Quintet, St. Petersburg (see above).
15. February 2018 (tentative date): 4th Australian Drymix Mortar Meeting, Melbourne Area
22. March 2018 (tentative date): 4th India Drymix Mortar Conference, Mumbai
26. April 2018 (tentative date): 6th American Drymix Morar Conference, Las Vegas, NV
June or July: 2nd South American Drymix Mortar Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina

drymix.info is encouraging all those tempted by either of the international events above to give us feedback as to the suitability of the (tentative) dates as well as proposals for conference locations (especially in Las Vegas!).

7. Admaterials Singapore Joins SEADMA as a Partner

Admaterials Technologies Pte Ltd, Singapore has decided to join The South East Asia Drymix Mortar Association SEADMA as an Industrial Partner. The company was founded by Lu Jin Ping in 2008. Admaterials offers materials testing services for construction materials all over ASEAN. This materials testing laboratory is accredited by SINGLAS ( Singapore Laboratory Accreditation Scheme) under Singapore Accreditation Council according to (ISO/IEC 17025 )and is also a certification body according to ISO/IEC 17065, and SAC CT 05- SAC Criteria for Certification Bodies (Ready-Mixed Concrete). Admaterials also provides R&D and consulting to the building materials industry. In February 2016, Exova Group plc, a globally active testing, calibration and advisory services provider, has acquired a 70% stake in Admaterials Technologies Pte Ltd.

We warmly welcome Admaterials to our Community.

8. HeidelbergCement Takes over Cemex Operations in Oregon and Washington (USA)

HeidelbergCement AG, Leimen, Germany, has announced that it has reached an agreement with Cemex S.A.B. de C.V., San Pedro, Monterrey, Mexico, to buy their materials business in the pacific North West. The deal is carried out by the west coast subsidiary Cadman Materials, Inc., Redmond, WA, USA, a daughter company of LehighHanson, Irving, TX, USA. Cemex' operations comprise seven aggregate quarries, two (road) asphalt plants and seven ready-mix concrete productions in Oregon and Washington and employ about 350 people. HeidelbergCement pays about 135 mio Euro (US$ 150 mio) for the deal, which is still subject to final approval by regulators.

9. BASF to Sells its PCM Business to Microtek Laboratories

BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, has signed a contract to sell its Phase-Change- Materials (PCM) business to Microtek Laboratories Inc. of Dayton, OH, USA (tradename Micronal). PCMs are acrylate-based microencapsulated materials that can be used as an emulsion or as a dry powder. They can store and release thermal energy an thus increase thermal comfort and, used in mortars, they reduce a building's overall energy consumption (we reported earlier). The transaction does not include the production facility in Ludwigshafen, other assets or employees. BASF and Microtek did not disclose financial details of the deal.

10. GTM Acquires Brasilian Distributor Quantiq

GTM Holdings, S.A., San José, Costa Rica (GTM) has recently completed the acquisition of the chemical distributor, quantiQ, from Braskem, both Sao Paulo, Brasil. GTM was founded in 1983 in Guatemala, quantiQ was founded in 1991 as Ipiranga Química. As part of the closing of the transaction, GTM has decided to move its head office to São Paulo. The deal is valued at approx. 150 mio Euro (R$ 550 million) and is still subject to anti-trust approvals by the relevant authorities.

11. PPG Withdraws its Takeover Bid for Akzo Nobel

The gigantic takeover battle between PPG Industries, Dallas, TX, USA and Akzo Nobel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands is over: PPG has recently withdrawn its third and final offer (we reported earlier). PPG will thus not make a binding offer to the shareholders of Akzo "for the time being". In the course of this battle, Akzo Nobel had decided to split the company into two divisions (Paints&Coatings and Specialty Chemicals), a strategy the Akzo Nobel management intends to pursue nevertheless.

The drymix.info Newsletter is being sent exclusively to registered subscribers and all members of drymix.info. Editor-in-Chief: Ferdinand Leopolder. Back issues will be published on www.drymix.info.

Should you want to discontinue your subscription, please return this newsletter with the reference UNSUBSCRIBE to info (at) drymix. info. All information © 2003 - 2018 by drymix. info, Ferdinand Leopolder, Tegernseer Landstrasse 26, D-81541 München.

Sincerely Yours, Ferdinand Leopolder