Wadeville-based perlite and vermiculite manufacturer and distributor Sun Silicates has established a sister company, CemteQ Building Solutions, which specialises in developing value-add products for the building and construction industries.
CemteQ Building Solutions has been established to cater to the mounting demand for sustainable architectural and construction materials in the construction industry. “The South African construction industry has noted the exponential growth of the Green Building Council of South Africa in the past ten years. This indicates increased social awareness to look forward to sustainable architecture and construction methods,” says CemteQ Building Solutions MD Victor Bouguenon.
He adds that the industry’s moving towards more sustainable construction methods has created opportunities in the market for more innovative construction methods.
CemteQ Building Solutions plans to focus on the production of value-add products that incorporate perlite, produced by Sun Silicates, as an aggregate replacement, together with cement and special admixtures.
Bouguenon explains that perlite has proven particularly popular within the construction industries in Europe, the Middle East and the US, owing to its exceptional insulating, lightweight, fire- and heat-resistant properties, as well as its low carbon footprint. CemteQ Building Solutions will produce turnkey solutions for plaster, screeds and concrete applications, owing to the insulating, low density and chemically inert nature of perlite, he adds.
The company states that it is committed to “developing, manufacturing and distributing smart and sustainable building materials that make meaningful changes to the way people live and build”
Bouguenon explains that perlite is a naturally occurring amorphous volcanic glass formed by the rapid cooling and solidification of volcanic lava that traps crystalline water in its mass.
The raw perlite is imported from Turkey and heat-processed by Sun Silicates. The process of exfoliating perlite is based on the presence of 2% to 6% combined water in raw perlite rock. The mixture is quickly heated to above 870 ºC, forcing the particles to expand to between four and 20 times their original volume, as the water vapour creates tiny bubbles in the glassy material, he explains.
The process results in a snow-white material with notable thermal and acoustic insulation properties on floors, walls and roofs, together with exceptional lightweight and fireproof characteristics and a low carbon footprint, he emphasises.
“CemteQ Building Solutions is launching a value-added plaster composite in white and grey, as well as specially formulated floor and roof screeds,” adds Bouguenon enthusiastically. He further mentions that the company’s plaster products are “super smooth”, easy-to-apply composites for trowel-on plaster or low-velocity-pumped plaster applications.
PlasterLite combines a formulation of exfoliated perlite with cement, various admixtures and microfibres, which will form a one-coat plaster solution, effectively eliminating the need for and expense associated with applying a finishing layer of skim plaster.
Bouguenon explains that the PlasterLite plaster products offer significantly better insulation properties than ordinary plaster, saving significantly on heating and cooling costs. Perlite plasters also weigh roughly one-quarter of normal plasters.
CemteQ Building Solutions’ products also include value-added floor and roof screeds.
Bouguenon explains that the company’s screed products – ScreedPerl and EcoPerl – have been designed for standard lightweight and insulating applications for roofing and flooring projects. He says the turnkey screed products prevent downward heat loss in floors with under-tile heating and it is possible to apply the products to flat, uneven or curved surfaces using a suitable bonding agent.
The company’s SunPerl construction-grade loose perlite is also available in 100 ℓ polypropylene bags with a bulk density of 70 kg/m3 to 80 kg/m3. The construction-grade perlite is the same aggregate used in high-temperature insulating refractory concretes and, as a result, its ability to resist heat is impressive.
CemteQ Building Solutions’ perlite-based products are fire-resistant having low linear expansion characteristics that reduce the development of cracks and maintain a temperature below the critical point at which weakening or failure of the structure is likely to occur, explains Bouguenon.
The products release no smoke or toxic gas, do not disintegrate when rapidly cooled, are inorganic and do not rot or decay over time, Bouguenon concludes.