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Role of construction chemicals in Construction industry

The global construction chemicals market which was valued at $32.0 billion in 2018, is expected to grow with a CAGR of 5.9% and reach $50.6 billion by 2026. In India, it is 14000CR in 2020 and expected to grow with a CAGR of >8% nd would reach 220000 Cr by 2026

Construction chemicals are speciality chemicals which are used in Construction practice to enhance and to sustain, the past and future construction. It has become indispensable part of the construction industry. These products are vital for creating sustainable infrastructure, enhance the durability of the construction, decrease environmental hazards, conserve energy, and more.

Let us dive deeper and understand the growing role of construction chemicals in the construction industry.

What are construction chemicals?

Construction chemicals are the chemical formulations that are used with cement, concrete, and other construction materials to hold them together. These chemicals are used to retrofit & strengthen existing structures and also in new construction projects to speed up the work and to accomplish the desire of customers/engineers.

Product Segments : Concrete admixtures, Cement Grinding Aids, Industrial Floowing, Concrete Repairs , Structural Grouts & Anchors, Adhesives, Sealants, Protective coatings, and more. They are widely used in the construction projects like, Infrastructure - Roads, Reservoirs, Power plants, Sea ports, Airports; Industrial plants and factories , Commercial and residentrial buildings etc.

Role of Construction Chemicals in the Modern Construction Industry

There has been a soaring demand for construction chemicals due to the increasing urban population and expanding global construction market. These chemicals are used to achieve workability, longevity, making the structure robust, reduce construction time and increase the design life of the structures. etc.

Construction chemicals are used by the construction industry because these compounds help to augment the strength and quality of the concrete. It provides water-tightness and protects the structure from getting degraded due to atmospheric challenges. Many manufacturers use the chemicals for concrete modification, waterproofing, repairing, rehabilitating the structures, and more.

The products such as Concrete admixtures, Cement Grinding Aids, Water repellent cement chemicals, Concrete Repairs and Retrofitting, Protective coatings, Grout and anchors, sealants, Industrial Floorings, waterproofing chemicals, Adhesives, Colouring agents, Fibres & non-woven polystyrene mesh etc. are also widely used for several infrastructure projects like bridges, roads, highways, overhead bridges, high rise buildings, dams, irrigation channels, modern industrial plants, power projects - thermal, nuclear, atomic, windmill, tidal etc.

Practical Applications of Construction Chemicals

• Concrete Admixtures: Chemicals admixed with concrete to change the rheology of the concrete with better strength, durability, more cementitious proportion, etc. Concreting admixtures for tunnel lining is an interesting segment to explore for the future.

• Cement Grinding Aids: Chemicals used in grinding of cement to reduce energy consumption, allows reducing clinker ratio, less carbon foot print.

• Water repellent cement chemicals: These are chemicals added during cement grinding to induce water retention property into the cement, which delays the caking of bagged cement and also enhances water repellent property of the plaster made out of this cement.

• Surface Treatments: chemicals like Curing compounds and de-moulding agents used in curing of the concrete and to prevent dis-perfections during de-shuttering.

• Structural Grouts and anchors: used for installation of heavy machineries and to get extensions from existing structures.

• Industrial floorings: Cementitious, Epoxy, Polyurethane, Polyurea flooring on top of the Concrete flooring is done to sustain industrial abuses to the floor, thus by extending the life of the floor.

• Protective Coatings: Acrylic, epoxy , polyurethane, Bituminous, Hybrid coating, MEA , Polyurea coatings are used as anti-carbonation, anti-chloride and anti-sulphate coatings depending upon the environmental exposure and type of structure which protects the structure against extreme weather conditions and corrosive chemicals.

• Concrete repairs: Chemicals used in repairing & Strengthening of old structures and to repair the imperfections in new constructions. Retrofitting of structures to suit the revised loading pattern is possible with carbon fibre wrapping etc.

• Sealants: Polysulphide, Polyurethane, Bituminous, Acrylic, Silicone, based sealants are used in expansion and contraction joints to build the structures as per consultant designs.

• Waterproofing: APP/SBS membranes, Acrylic, Polyurethane, Elastomeric coatings, Polyurea, crystalline waterproofing, Integral waterproofing, polymer modified cementitious coatings, injection grouting, Polysulphide coatings, EPU coatings, water-stops are some of the waterproofing coatings/membranes/systems to prevent ingress of water into the structure and to prevent water to seep through reservoirs /dam /tanks etc.

• Insulation: materials help against thermal shocks, acoustic vibrations and fire, etc.

• Colouring Agents: produce colour in the finished concrete.

• Adhesives- used to fixing tiles, marbles, cladding, etc in comparison with site mixed mortars.

• Fibres and non-woven polyester mesh - Polypropylene fibres are used to prevent micro cracks in plaster. Structural Steel fibres are used to replace reinforcement bars to provide tensile properties to the concrete. Non-woven polyester meshes are used as additional reinforcements in the coating or concrete to enhance the tensile strength of the coatings.

Normally, the requirement of construction chemical in a project is 1% -2% of the budget of concrete in that particular project. It is almost 2% in developed countries. India, is galloping from 0.5% to 1% in last 10 years and expected to reach near 2% in next 5 years. This would happen at an rapid phase due to FDI, MNCs coming into India, Foreign consultants from developed market into India, change in Construction time and practice etc.

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