Munich-based chemicals company Wacker launched a mobile containerised laboratory – MyLab – together with its long-term distributor, IMCD, in Randburg, Gauteng, at the end of November.
The Wacker MyLab is housed in a 40 ft container at chemicals and food ingredients distributor IMCD’s premises in Johannesburg and serves as a test facility for vinyl-acetate- ethylene- (VAE-) based dispersions and dispersible polymer powders for the paint, coatings and construction industries.
According to Wacker, the decision to establish a mobile laboratory in Johannesburg reflects the rapid development of the construction industry in South Africa and in the rest of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The company also states that there is growing interest in new, higher-quality construction materials and chemicals.
The Wacker MyLab in Johannesburg is an enhanced facility for customer support that combines local raw materials and construction methods with Wacker binders.
At the inauguration ceremony, Wacker Chemicals Middle East MD Cyril Cisinski said Wacker’s goal was to find regional solutions that meet the individual requirements of its customers in the local construction industry. “With Wacker MyLab, we are able to develop and test innovative applications that comply with the architectural tradition, natural resources and the local climate.”
The laboratory equipment provides detailed analyses for flow characteristics, such as tensile adhesion strength, compressive strength and linear shrinkage or the flexural strength of cured mortar.
The Wacker MyLab offers, for example, the possibility to test the appearance, wet scrub, specular gloss and block resistance of paints and coatings formulated with VAE-based dispersions.
The concept of the Wacker MyLab, according to the company, enables it to take regionalisation “one step further”, thereby strengthening Wacker’s technical expertise for local markets.
Wacker Chemicals Middle East regional technical director Mohamed Sanaobar says the Wacker MyLab will assist the company in not only transferring its extensive expertise in sustainable building materials, but also increasing awareness of the advantages and market prospects of construction chemicals.
Wacker’s global network of technical centres also offers support by providing consulting services and conducting supplementary analyses.