The Hague, the Netherlands - At the first day of the 2011 meeting of the PDA - Europe (the Polyurea Development Association - Europe) about 100 delegates heard a challenging presentation from Juergen Magner, managing director of the Kiwa Polymer Institut of Floersheim, Germany.
Magner said polyurea's use in waterproofing bridge decks in Germany has hardly grown since its introduction in 1982, and laid out some reasons for this, in terms of the standards and norms for such applications.
According to Magner, the way work on European norms for such products function is that the relevant bodies "Lower the values so that everything can pass … You cannot exploit polyurea's outstanding performance if you lower the criteria to pass," he commented.
Magner's presentation provoked considerable debate from the delegates, some pointing out that he was talking particularly about the German market, where perhaps protection of a sector - bituminous membranes - which is a large employer, is seen as important.
Another view from Scandinavia is the lower values of some properties in the norms proposed cannot take account of the demanding conditions imposed by a Nordic winter where expansion/contraction of bridge decking is greater than occurs in more temperate European countries.
Delegates also heard about new amine raw materials from Huntsman's performance products division, while Steven Reinstadler of Bayer MaterialScience described the value of polyaspartic coatings in refurbishing water slides in parks in the US.
Dudley Primeaux II of Primeax Associates llc gave a cautionary tale on failure of a polyurea coating system in a potable water use in Australia as an example of what happens when good practice is not followed. Primeaux was called in to identify why the refurbished concrete water tank was leaking, and after a review the coating was removed and the tank recoated -- using techniques that should have been carried out initially.
See more on the presentations at the PDA-Europe meeting in the Dec/Jan issue of Urethanes Technology International.