Germiston-based building industry chemicals supplier A.SHAK was established in 1958 to supply the concrete industry with specialised quality release agents designed specifically for the different types of concrete casting methods that were used at the time. The company supplies products suitable for pre-casting or insitu cast concrete.
Over the years the company has evolved and added many new product ranges to the basket. As the retail division of grew, the owners split the company to specialise in the retail range of products, which falls under the A.SHAK banner, and the construction products, which make up the products in A.SHAK CONSTRUCTION CHEMICALS.
Release agents for concrete requires a knowledgeable sales force who can not only recommend the correct product for the application but who can also analyse any problems the customer might experience with the releasing of the formwork or moulds.
The common belief is that any release agent should work in all applications or types of casting of concrete, but this is not so. Most varieties of release agents from oils, which are suitable for small moulds and used to manufacture decorative items, to large moulds such as in the manufacturing of storm water pipes and culverts, are supplied to the precast industry.
Small precast yards that manufacture garden statues, water features and pots can use a variety of moulds, ranging from fiberglass, polyurethane or natural rubber moulds. These products are usually cast with a dry mix and are seldom vibrated or steam cured. The moulds are delicate and so a good quality mineral oil that does not contain solvents, such as A.Shak’s AS666 product would be recommended for these applications.
Concrete yards that manufacture precast walling and kerbing stones most often use steel moulds for these applications. These moulds would be vibrated and, in some instances, depending on the size of the yard, the curing process would be accelerated by steam to cure the products. A.Shak’s AS88, a diesel-based product, is most successful in these applications. SUPERSTRIP could also be used depending on what type of mix the yard uses.
Meanwhile, stack casting is becoming a popular way to fast track large construction sites, such as that of shopping centres. The contractor casts precast slabs on top of each other and, once cured, lifts them into place. A.Shak’s AS666 serves as a bond breaker to prevent the cast slabs from sticking to each other and gives the surface of the slabs an off-shutter finish.
The infrastructure or pipe industry in South Africa employs many different ways of casting the pipes, from vertical moulds to centrifugal spun moulds, which all require different release agents. SUPERSTRIP and ROCOIL P are probably the most frequently used products in this industry as well as AS118 which is an emulsion option that can be diluted with water.
The differences between precast yards and the types of concrete mixes or casting options they prefer are legion. For this reason the company’s technical sales team work closely with site foremen or owners to ensure the correct products are offered for their needs.
A.SHAK and A.SHAK CONSTRUCTION CHEMICALS are proudly South African companies and all its products are locally made and raw materials are locally sourced.