Pratley showcased its lightweight, thermally insulating and fireproof aggregate, known as Pratliperl, at the recently held African Construction Expo 2019. The product is ideal for a range of applications, including thermally insulating plasters, screeds, pizza oven liners, bricks, boards and much more. It is best described as a modern solution for energy-efficient building.
Billed as Africa’s ‘must-attend’ construction event, organised by dmg events, and now in its 7th year, African Construction Expo 2019 provided a unique platform for over 9 500 construction professionals from over 45 countries to engage with key industry stakeholders and access valuable network opportunities.
The construction industry is an important market for Pratley, marketing director Eldon Kruger notes, especially when considering the ‘green’ aspects of Pratliperl. “Energy-saving is, and will continue to be, an issue for the world at large.” In South Africa especially, Pratliperl assists architects and construction professionals to comply with energy-saving regulations such as SANS 204.
The sustainability features of Pratliperl translate into significant growth opportunities, Kruger highlights. “In South Africa, with a constrained power grid and the ever-increasing cost of energy, this is readily apparent. For example, you can literally double the thermal insulation of a two-leaf brick wall by plastering the inside and outside of that wall with Pratliperl. One can also imagine the benefits Pratliperl brings to low-cost housing.”
Visitors to Pratley’s stand at the African Construction Expo 2019 will get to see common examples of Pratliperl applications, including plastering and screeding. Demonstrations of Pratliperl’s extraordinary fireproofing and thermal insulation features will also amaze our guests, adds Kruger.
Pratliperl is derived from a volcanic glass called Perlite, which is mined in northern KwaZulu Natal. The raw material is then expanded in special furnaces to create millions of small, well-sealed Pratliperl beads. Each bead has a small vacuum inside, giving the product its unique thermal insulation properties.
“It’s like having millions of tiny thermos flasks,” Eldon highlights. The expansion furnaces are highly specialised, with much proprietary technology in their design and construction. South African Perlite, unlike Perlite in other parts of the world, is also very hard once it has expanded. This makes the mineral ideal for producing high-strength materials for the construction industry.
In terms of energy-saving and thermal insulation products, Kruger stresses that all claims by manufacturers should be verified. “There’s no doubt that these types of products are essential in ensuring compliance, but do ensure that what the manufacturer tells you makes sense. Consider the fireproofing aspect as well. Remember that many products may have exceptional thermal insulation properties, but what happens in fire conditions when they burn? Toxic fumes and smoke can be deadly. Ensure that the products you choose address this concern,” he concludes.
Established in 1948 by George ‘Monty’ Pratley, the various companies in the Pratley stable rest on a foundation of research and innovation in both the manufacturing and mining sectors. The various Pratley companies, drawing from 70 years of experience, have filed over 350 patents worldwide, and are ISO 9001 certified. Operating divisions are Pratley Adhesives, Pratley Electrical, Pratley Analytical, Pratley Perlite & Zeolite Mining, Pratley Craft & Decoupage, Select Hairdressing Supplies.