Supporting the increasing demand for ecologically sound and user friendly products, BASF commissioned a new production plant for form release agents that is among the most advanced and most efficient in Europe. Opened at the company’s in Stassfurt site in May 2015, the new facility produces release agents based on renewable raw materials as well as emulsions from renewable and non renewable raw materials. Successful trial operation was completed in early July 2015, and the plant has since commenced regular production.
“This important investment is to strengthen our release agent business in the European marketplace and to help us achieve a leadership position”, says Philipp Kley, Senior Vice President Construction Chemicals Europe at BASF. “We identified the increasing demand for alternatives to mineral oil based release agents at an early stage, and aligned our research efforts accordingly. This is why now, at just the right time, we can provide our customers with an innovation that fills a gap in the market and can give our customers a competitive advantage.” Form release agents facilitate the easy removal of the concrete from its formwork; at the same time, they also enhance the surface of precast concrete elements and cast in place concrete.
“This investment underpins the importance of the Stassfurt site”, states Jan Klügge, Head of Marketing, Ready Mix Europe. “Stassfurt is our European production hub for the release agents from the Master Builders Solutions portfolio. Our other European sites will also be supplied from here, facilitating this useful addition to the portfolio at all BASF sites.”
Ease of use and reduced production costs
The Master Builders Solutions experts have, among others, developed new release agent formulations based on natural raw materials such as plant oil. “The new products perform exceptionally well. They provide excellent surface quality, are efficient and easy to use, and lower concrete manufacturers’ production costs when applied correctly”, says Herwig Heegewaldt, responsible for BASF’s concrete admixtures business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The products are available under the MasterFinish product name. BASF offers a complete range of MasterFinish form release agents under the Master Builders Solutions umbrella brand, as well as in depth application technical advice on the selection of the right product and the best possible application process.
The new release agents made from natural raw materials provide an alternative to mineral‑oil‑based release agents, most of which have to carry an “Aspiration Hazard” label as of June 1, 2015. This is due to the labeling requirements of GHS. The new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals now also applies to chemical mixtures and thus to concrete release agents. Based on renewable raw materials release agents from BASF are not classified hazardous and will not require labeling.
GHS is a globally standardized system for the labeling of chemicals and the classification of the hazards they might entail. Initiated by the United Nations, the system is to provide improved safety and reduce complexities when trading chemicals. In Europe, it has come into effect in December 2010 for chemical substances and in June 2015 for chemical mixtures, which also include concrete release agents.
More information on these as well as on other innovative BASF products for the construction industry can be found at: www.master-builders-solutions.basf.co.uk.