REPEAT BUSINESS FOR AFRISAM DRY MORTAR UNDERPINS BENEFITS TO INDUSTRY
Contractors in the built environment face numerous challenges in the constrained market conditions of today. Primary amongst these is the need to dramatically improve productivity on site which is exacerbated by the fact that majority of projects are fast track. This places contractors under even more pressure in terms of delivering within a shortened construction programme schedule.
Add to this the challenges of containing costs, eliminating wastage and pilferage while delivering with reduced margins.
Amit Dawneerangen, national sales manager Gauteng, AfriSam, says that in the changing construction environment it is essential that contractors take an overall view of project costs and not just look at individual material costs.
Significantly, and in response to demands from contractors for increased convenience, AfriSam developed its AfriSam Dry Mortar product. This allows immediate access to an already blended dry mortar solution and according to Dawneerangen is proving to be very attractive to time-pressed contractors.
The AfriSam Dry Mortar solution offers contractors a number of benefits in addition to time and cost savings. Using a pre-blended mortar mix will ensure optimum product integrity and subsequently quality construction on a project.
“Repeat business is always a strong testimony for a product and
the reality is that once a customer has experienced the AfriSam Dry Mortar product, it becomes a standard on all of the contractor’s projects.” Dawneerangen says.
“Customers who have used the product have been particularly impressed with the finish achieved when used in plaster applications. In some cases architects on projects have also commented on the superior finish and are starting to specify the product because of its aesthetic value.”
Dawneerangen says that the use of superior sand is essential to produce a quality plaster or mortar as this raw material makes up
as much as 80% of the mix. In addition to using superior quality sand, it is also critical that the sand be completely dry prior to the blending process to prevent any possibility of the cement reacting to the water content.
AfriSam has partnered with Stick a Tile to produce the innovative mortar and plaster solution. The sand used in the AfriSam Dry Mortar product is quarried at the Stick a Tile operation in Meyerton.
“The sand being used is consistent from a grading perspective and the particle size distribution lends itself to producing a superior end product,” he says. “Use of inferior sands in these mixes not only affects the strength of the plaster or mortar, but also impacts negatively on the workability as well as the finish, especially in the case of plaster.”
After being quarried, the sand is dried to the requisite level, and blended with AfriSam’s All Purpose Cement in a controlled environment at this bespoke plant. The plant has a 400 ton per day capacity and is fully automated. Batch printouts are produced to verify consistency and ensure optimum quality.
In addition, samples of the dry mortar product are taken at regular intervals and tested at AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence to ensure compliance with the required specifications.
Dawneerangen says the traditional methodologies used for mixing of mortar and plaster lend themselves to scenarios where there is a lot of wastage. “Removing the human error element from this process has seen a number of contractors significantly decrease wastage and more importantly increase the productivity on site allowing them to bring projects to completion on time and within budget,” he says.
Manual blending of a mortar is labour intensive and time consuming, and requires careful attention to ensure the correct ratios of sand and cement are used. Incorrect blending or mixing will certainly affect the final product and in the case of plaster result in cracking.
The AfriSam Dry Mortar solution alleviates human error and goes a long way to ensuring the integrity of the work being done. This Class II mortar has been specially engineered as a dual purpose mix that can be used for both mortar and plaster work. It will achieve a minimum strength of 5 MPa at 28 days.
Dawneerangen says that SANS 50197 compliant AfriSam All Purpose Cement was selected as this cement offers a spectrum of functional attributes that provide customers with guaranteed quality performance in concrete, mortar and plaster applications.
“It is an advanced composite cement containing milled clinker as well as advanced mineral components and additives, and therefore the ideal component for the AfriSam Dry Mortar product. While offering the lowest carbon footprint in the 42.5N strength class, this cement ensures optimum workability, another important requirement for contractors.”
The AfriSam Dry Mortar product is supplied in either 10 ton or 20 ton silos offering optimum flexibility as customers can then decide on the size required based on individual project requirements. By supplying product in silos, there is a considerable space saving advantage on a construction or building site as the need to accommodate large stockpiles of sand and store bagged cement is eliminated.
To add to this, stockpiled building materials are often pilfered on site and by using the AfriSam Dry Mortar silos, theft is virtually eradicated and there is a similar significant reduction in wastage.
The 10 ton silo is delivered fully loaded from the facility, while the 20 ton silo is delivered to site empty and filled via bulk tanker. Discharge into the silo is conducted using a closed conveyance system which ensures product integrity and the elimination of any dust during the process. Not only does this guarantee optimum quality of the product, but the process also complies with all the requisite environmental regulations, a factor that underlines AfriSam’s long-term commitment to environmental stewardship.
Dawneerangen says that on smaller projects where automated systems are not being used, the dry mortar can be discharged from the silo directly into wheelbarrows or other mixing vessels. Other options include attaching a mixer with a water tank to the silo so that when dry mortar is discharged, it comes into contact with the water from the tank and delivers a product that is ready to use. This wet product is then discharged into a utility unit such as a dumper or concrete hopper. Where high rise construction is taking place and there is a need to convey the mixed mortar upwards, a mortar pumping system would be connected to the silo to facilitate the easy transfer of the product.
Another area where productivity is being realised by contractors is in terms of procurement as it is no longer necessary to deal with a number of different contractors, i.e. procurement of sand from one supplier and then bagged or bulk cement from another.
“It is an exceptionally simple one step order process for AfriSam Dry Mortar, and the construction industry is already realising significant gains from this innovative product.
Maxine Nel, AfriSam
Tel : +27 011 670 5893
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org