​Tawasul - تواصل

Dear readers, welcome to the 4th edition of our Newsletter. Again we have a wide selection of news stories, new product launches and an interesting technical paper on microfibers in concrete.

This nicely provides my link into this introduction, because after almost 41 years in the construction chemicals industry, I am retiring from BASF and returning to the UK. Don't worry, new editors for Tawasul are already working on the next edition! And the link I mentioned? Well, as I look back over my varied career in R&D, Production, Sales and Marketing Management I am always amazed at the technical advances made across all ranges of the construction chemicals. Last year Master Builders Solutions launched the world's first chemically bonded structural fiber MasterFiber 2200CB with enhanced bond to the concrete matrix and hence enhanced performance.

Back in 1979, when I first arrived in Dubai, and Dubai's iconic World Trade Centre was only months old, the most complex concrete admixtures were lignosulphonate based, offering water reduction rates of +/- 10%. Pumping was improved by additives which entrained air but reduced strengths accordingly. Set retardation was achieved using refined sugars that I purchased from the local Cooperative shop in Rashidya! But, beware if you overdosed! Now we have complex long chained and branched "tailor made" polymers which provide controllable, viscosity and rheology and cost effective, self-consolidating concrete. Sustainability is assured with extraordinary percentage replacements of OPC, with improved durability and lower energy costs. Precast turn around speeds are enhanced with revolutionary crystal seeding technology in the concrete pore water.

In 1978, the famous Dubai Clock Tower was repaired using lightweight epoxy repair mortar! Polymer modified cementitious systems had not yet been invented. Now shrinkage control, fiber reinforcement, modulus modification and excellent application properties come as standard, as engineers realized the need to repair concrete with harmonious cement materials. Technical advances in strengthening using space age carbon fiber composites, corrosion inhibition using modified siloxane technology such as our, soon to be launched, MasterProtect 8500CP improve the life expectancies and reduce the impact of corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete, even in the harsh Middle East environment.

These are but two areas of the vast range of technologies offered by Master Builders Solutions. Similar advances in other product segments are too numerous to mention here. Finally, as I look across the engineering and construction marvel that is the Dubai skyline, I reflect that there are not many jobs where there are so many visible landmarks to a career, and to the technological advances made in such a relatively short time. To be able to look at magnificent buildings such as the Burg Khalifa, and smile inwardly, and with a large sense of pride and think, "Yes. We were involved in building that!" is as good validation as I can think of. I wish I could start all over again!

Brian Williams
Marketing Manager, Middle East: Gulf States and Saudi Arabia

May 2019

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