All posts by Sarah Instarmac

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UltraCrete Instant Road Repair Excels in the Land of Fire and Ice

Instarmac’s Icelandic partner, Arnardalur srf. have supplied UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® to the Department of National Roads for a number of emergency repairs throughout Reykjavik.

Iceland, known fondly as the “Land of Fire and Ice”, is a country of extremes, with beautiful glaciers and stunning volcanic springs located next to one another. During the winter months, temperatures can reach as low as minus 30°C which leaves the road network vulnerable to potholes and damage caused by the freeze/thaw effect.

The Department of National Roads required a repair material that could be used in all weathers providing emergency repairs to a network of highly trafficked roads. Arnardalur srf. supplied UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® cold lay asphalt for these repairs.

UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® is a first time permanent pothole repair which has been continuously developed over the past 35 years and used all around the world with excellent results. It is being used on a daily basis in all climates, from the snow bound island of Hokkaido in Japan, to the tropical monsoon hit roads of Malaysia, in the freezing cold Scandinavian winters, the heat of the Namibian desert and the temperate climates of Europe.

There are many cold lay asphalt repair products available, but UltraCrete backs up its technical claims! Strength is gained by compaction, becoming stronger  the more traffic travels over it, making it perfect for busy roads, such as those in Reykjavik where daily traffic reaches 60,000 cars per day!

Applied in 3 easy steps – clean, pour, compact – UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® can be applied in all weathers including hot, wet and cold – it can even be used in the freezing Icelandic temperatures.

What’s more, potholes repaired with UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® can be trafficked instantly making it ideal for countries such as Iceland where, during the winter, daylight is limited to only 4 hours per day and therefore a rapid repair is essential.

UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® certainly excelled in the unique conditions Iceland has to offer. One contractor commented: “It is easy to work with and can be used in wet and cold weather. It also lasts longer in the potholes compared to what we have been used to.”

This innovative material has been independently tested by the British Board of Agrément and is proven to be a quality, flexible and durable solution for first time, permanent pothole repairs.

For further information on UltraCrete Instant Road Repair®, and the other highway maintenance materials available from Instarmac, please visit instarmacinternational.com or email international@instarmac.com.

To contact Arnardalur srf. please call 00354 8989 556 or email sverrirt@centrum.is.

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A Safer Road Ahead thanks to UltraCrete

Instarmac’s French partner, Vert Bleu, have supplied world-renowned reinstatement materials to repair a failed manhole on a busy road in Rue des Creuses, France.

Municipalite of Annecy required reinstatement materials that would be able to withstand heavy trafficking and endure the constant flow of wheels as this particular manhole cover was located in the wheel track of the carriageway. Located outside a Peugeot Garage and 300m from the entrance of a busy supermarket, it was essential that the repair materials used could be trafficked quickly to minimise disruption to pedestrians and motorists.

Vert Bleu supplied TPLM, the contractor on this project, with UltraCrete PY5, a flowable resin bedding mortar and UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® cold lay asphalt, as these products not only meet, but surpass the requirements of this reinstatement.

Part of UltraCrete’s range of high performance bedding mortars, PY5 is ideal for anchoring bolts or bars, bedding lights in carriageways and backfill of manhole covers. PY5 is able to withstand extreme wear and tear and boasts an impressive compressive strength gain of 85N/mm² after just 1 hour. What’s more, failed manholes reinstated with PY5 can be opened to traffic in just 40 minutes.

Independently tested and approved by the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS), UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® has been used to repair potholes and failed manhole systems around the world for over 35 years thanks to its high performance capabilities.

Applied in 3 easy steps – clean, pour, compact – Instant Road Repair can be opened to traffic immediately allowing for roads to be opened quickly, minimising disruption.

Instant Road Repair is suitable for use in all weathers and climates and is resistant to freeze/thaw as well as extremely hot weather conditions which made it ideal for the changeable environment in the mountainous area of the Rue des Creuses.

The failed manhole was reinstated quickly and efficiently much to the delight of both TPLM and the Municipalite of Annecy.

For further information about PY5 and Instant Road Repair and the products available in the UltraCrete range of highway maintenance materials, please visit www.instarmacinternational.com or email international@instarmac.com.

To contact Vert Bleu please call +33 (0)4 79 84 41 08 or visit www.ultracrete.fr.

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Stone Cladding – but not as you know it!

You mention stone cladding and a certain property on Coronation Street springs to mind. Stone cladding may have a bad reputation, however it is making a comeback.

The variety of stone on the market has meant that architects, landscape designers and contractors can create some stunning displays showcasing the natural beauty of the stone.

Application is key when creating these architectural displays and urban regeneration specialist UltraScape now offer and adhesive for internal and external wall and floor applications. It is ideal for installing decorative features such as raised flower beds and can also be used for fixing brick slips and natural stone to vertical edges.

SlipBond is formulated with extended workability allowing large intricate areas to be covered on a range of substrates including sand and cement renders and brick and block work. It can be applied  from a thickness of 3mm – 20mm up to 1m² at a time and its frost resistant formulation makes it ideal for use in all weathers.

SlipBond is polymer modified for increased strength and has exceptional bond and flexural capacity. It can also be used to apply large format, porcelain and natural stone tiles in internal environments and is particularly suitable for areas where vibration may occur.

For further information on UltraScape SlipBond, please contact us on 01827 254402 or email ultrascape@instarmac.co.uk.

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Hard Landscaping Shouldn’t have to be Hard

When designing an outdoor space it is very easy to visualise and concentrate on the planting scheme before considering the construction of the space. This is a big mistake – you have to get the hard landscaping right before even thinking about the plants.

Hard landscaping is often the most expensive item in a landscaping plan and one of the most permanent, so selecting the right material for your scheme is extremely important.

You will need to consider how the space is going to be used, the style, the materials and the maintenance requirements.

Firstly think about how you are going to use the space, some materials are better suited for particular areas or applications. For example slate paving stones are excellent for paving a patio but are not durable enough for a driveway.

Which pattern arrangement do you prefer? This is a very important decision, for example if you have a small space and you want to make it feel bigger, simple patterns work best. Small pavers look effective and can be used to create beautiful designs but only really work well in large open spaces.

There is a wide choice of materials available for projects of all size so in theory you should have no problem finding one that fits your needs and budget. Shop around and do your research, the internet holds a wealth of information and design ideas.

Maintaining your scheme; this is often overlooked but should play an important role in choosing your materials. Cleaning, sealing and weed control all need consideration.

Another question to ask yourself – are you going to install permeable or non-permeable paving? Permeable paving is environmentally friendly as it reduces surface water running off into drains, however it is more expensive to install and comes with higher maintenance costs.

So have you answered all these questions and picked landscaping materials that compliment your space? It is now the time to consider your bedding materials.

At UltraScape we have been providing high specification products that are durable, proven and independently tested. Our mortar paving system has been developed to the British Standard BS 7533 and offers a range of high performance, rapid strength bedding, priming and jointing materials.

UltraScape also offers adhesive solutions for decorative features. SlipBond is a flexible cladding adhesive ideal for installing decorative features such as raised flower beds and can be used for fixing brick slips and natural stone to vertical areas.

For flexible paving there is PaveJoint plus, an all weather jointing compound resistant to freeze/thaw conditions and that protects from weed growth.

And for maintenance UltraScape’s Paving Guard is available which acts as a sand stabiliser, surface sealant and chewing gum adhesion inhibitor.

Successful landscape design focuses on how the hard and soft landscaping works in tandem to create a design that is not only aesthetically beautiful but that works in its environment to deliver the owner their perfect space. Spending time planning your scheme and by choosing high quality, proven, trusted products will guarantee you a space you can enjoy for years to come.

For more information on the UltraScape range please contact us on 01827 254402 or email ultrascape@instarmac.co.uk.

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Sustainable Construction – How to Minimise Landfill Waste and Reduce Demand on Primary Aggregates

Recycling has been around for decades but is now an important issue for the construction, maintenance and utility industries. The Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy now includes core indicators to measure the use of recycled aggregates so it is not a surprise to learn that most local authorities now include recycling targets.

4.8 million tonnes (WRAP 2007:1) is removed each year in trench excavations from gas and water asset renewals equivalent to 4.5% of national construction, demolition and excavation waste.

We all have a role to play whether it is local authorities, utility companies, contractors or us manufacturers. We need to –

  • Minimise materials going to landfill
  • Minimise the demand on primary resources
  • Minimise transportation distances and hence costs
  • Maximise recovery and recycling of materials

UltraCrete Perma-Soil, Soil Stabiliser, is an alternative reinstatement material – the perfect solution for the backfill and reinstatement of small utility excavations.

UltraCrete Perma-Soil will help you to reduce the cost of reinstating your excavations by converting unearthed spoil into reusable material thus eliminating the need for primary aggregates. It is mixed with the spoil before being compacted back into the excavation to provide an adequate backfill material/sub-base within minutes.

UltraCrete Perma-Soil minimises the need to haul away materials to landfill sites or backfill on site thus reducing transportation distances, tipping charges and carbon emissions. Using recycled aggregates instead of primary aggregates can reduce C02 emissions by at least 40%.

The amount of useable landfill sites is rapidly decreasing; consequently waste management is a high priority across the board as companies are being forced to comply with landfill regulations. UltraCrete Perma-Soil can help companies to meet these directives.

UltraCrete Perma-Soil meets the requirements as set out in the Utility WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) agreement and SROH (Specification for the Reinstatement for Openings in Highways). It is very versatile and can be used across a range of highway and footpath applications as well as post, fence and utility pole installations.

For further information on UltraCrete Perma-Soil and other products from UltraCrete’s range of highway maintenance, road and pothole repair products, call now on +44 (0) 1827 254402, email ultracrete@instarmac.co.uk or visit www.ultracrete.co.uk.

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UltraCrete Practical Solutions for the Utility Sector

UltraCrete, part of the Instarmac Group, is home to a portfolio of contractor-friendly repair and maintenance products for the Utility sector.

The UltraCrete product offering is ideal for a range of applications including the installation of telegraph poles, signposts, exchange points as well as for the reinstatement of utility excavations and around water meters and access covers and frames. Our bedding, repair and refurbishment materials are independently tested and proven and offer fast setting and time saving advantages.

Contact UltraCrete now to find out why leading utility suppliers, such as BT, Scottish Water and United Utilities have approved our materials for use in their utility reinstatements throughout the UK.

Fast the fast, efficient installation of heavy duty posts, choose UltraCrete’s QC10 F flowable, rapid set concrete. It is fibre modified for added strength and achieves 20N/mm² after just 90 minutes. It is easy to mix and literally pours from the bucket facilitating speedy application.

Eliminate vandalism to concrete repairs with UltraCrete’s QC6 rapid set surfacing concrete. Ideal for the surface reinstatement of ‘picture frames’ or fillets and around access covers, water meter excavations and for general repairs. This product sets in just 15 minutes thus difficult to deface, improving public image and limiting asset liability.

For surface reinstatements to footways, drives and car parks use UltraCrete’s Instant Road Repair 6mm grade, a cold lay asphalt concrete that can just be poured from the tub and compacted to provide a lasting repair. It is instantly trafficable too, so minimal disruption to pedestrians. It is also available in 10mm grade for heavier trafficked areas and comes in a handy 25kg re-sealable tubs, so no waste and great for sites with limited access!

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Flowpoint Paves the Way in Tallinn Old Town

Instarmac’s Estonian partner, Roadservice, have secured an 8,000m² paving restoration project of the beautiful Viru Street in Tallinn Old Town.

Viru Street is known for its beautiful entrance gates. These iconic gates were built in the 14th century as part of the town’s defence system, with the number of gates increasing to 8 by the 16th century.

Over the years, the entrance to Old Town widened and as a consequence many of the gates have since been demolished. However the corner gates are still standing and have become symbolic of Tallinn Old Town.

The restoration of this fairytale street required a grout that would withstand the constant footfall of visitors and residents whilst providing a finish that would be aesthetically pleasing and fitting of such a historical area.

Flowpoint rapid set flowable paving grout, part of the UltraScape Mortar Paving System, was chosen for this project and will be used to grout 8,000m² of paving in Viru Street.

Flowpoint is a flowable grout which allows for large areas of paving to be grouted quickly. It can be used to grout joints from 3-5mm to 50mm and as deep as 200mm in one application. What’s more, Flowpoint can receive foot traffic in 1 hour and vehicular traffic in 4 hours – ideal for busy towns such as this one.

Flowpoint is available in 3 varieties – Regular, ECO and Smooth, and in 2 colours – Natural Grey and Charcoal. Charcoal was chosen for this project.

Viru Street is the latest in a long line of prestigious projects in the UltraScape portfolio. Recent projects include Opera House, MBR City and City Walk in Dubai, Roxy Cinema in New Zealand, MediaCity, Savoy Hotel and the Bullring Shopping Centre in the UK.

For more information about Viru Street, Flowpoint or the other materials available in the UltraScape Mortar Paving System, please email international@instarmac.com or call the Sales Team on +44 (0) 1827 254402.

Keep up to date with the latest news at Instarmac HQ by following them on Twitter @InstarmacExport and Liking them on Facebook.

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Flexible Paving Solutions from UltraScape

UltraScape is proud to launch PaveJoint plus, a specialist jointing compound that provides a flexible yet durable finish when cured. It is suitable for use with most types of paving including natural stone, concrete, slate, clay, terracotta and granite.

PaveJoint plus can be used on pavements and lightly trafficked pedestrianised areas with occasional vehicular use. Water is used to pre-soak the surface and this also helps the sand to penetrate deep into the paving joint. Staining of the paving is prevented by keeping the area wet during application.

  • Use in all weathers
  • Resistant to freeze/thaw weather conditions
  • No waste, left over material can be re-used
  • Fast and easy application
  • Available in grey, black and natural
  • Size: 25kg bucket

For further information on UltraScape PaveJoint plus please call 01827 254402. You can also follow UltraScape on Twitter @Ultrascape_UK.

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Wet, Wet, Wet

It seems the nation loves a wetroom. Anglian Home Improvements carried out a survey of 2,000 homeowners and found that 43% of people would choose to add a wet room to their home, making it the second most desired home improvement with a cinema room coming out top with 44%.

AMA Research has predicted that the wetroom market is set to grow by 34% by 2019 which makes wetrooms the fastest-growing sector of the UK bathroom market.

A wetroom is a waterproofed bathroom or en suite. The shower floor is level with the rest of the room allowing you to walk in with ease. The modern, simple, minimalistic design popular in Europe has now been embraced by British homeowners who are eager to convert their bathrooms and it is clear why, after all, wetrooms have many advantages:

  • A wetroom is a stylish addition and can create a contemporary look.
  • A wetroom can increase the value of your home.
  • Ideal for small spaces where a bath may not fit.
  • Wetrooms are easy to clean.
  • If fitted and waterproofed correctly it can provide better protection to your floors than a standard bathroom.

So how do I prepare my room?

The new Instarmac WETROOM SYSTEM can be used to prepare areas prior to tiling, waterproofing whilst providing strength and flexibility and still enabling tiles to adhere. Often referred to as a tanking kit, the product is easy to use by professionals and amateurs alike. This two-component system consists of a brush applied flexible waterproof coating and membrane tape. Applied using a layer installation method it covers 0.5kg per square metre. It is compatible for use with underfloor heating and tiles can be applied 24 hours after application.

WETROOM SYSTEM can be applied to most common substrates including moisture sensitive backgrounds such as plaster, plasterboard and tile backing boards. It may be used beneath ceramic, porcelain, natural stone and glass tiles.

WETROOM SYSTEM is available in 8kg buckets. Please call 01827 254402 to order or click here for more information including datasheet download and a step-by-step application guide.

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UltraFloor launch new flowable bulking concrete

UltraFloor are delighted to announce the launch of Fill IT, a rapid setting, rapid drying flowable bulking concrete for internal and external use.

The addition of this exciting new product to the UltraFloor range provides a quick and cost-effective alternative to the labour and time intense traditional method of mixing underlayments with aggregates.

UltraFloor Fill IT is a general purpose, rapid setting flowable backfilling concrete designed to eliminate bulking of underlayments on site with aggregates.  It is ideal for deep section repairs, unwanted utility and drainage channels and access covers.  Its self-compacting flow properties make it a very easy material to apply to a variety of internal and external substrates.  The product is suitable for application depths from 30mm – 300mm in one pass, and its rapid setting and drying properties allow it to be covered with final floor finishes within 24 hours.

The product’s formulation is enhanced with added fibres for extra strength reinforcement and is shrinkage compensated for a seamless finish.  What’s more its excellent flow eliminates the need for using a trowel when applying.  UltraFloor Fill IT has a working time of 5 – 10 minutes and a set time of 20 minutes.

The product is packaged in a 25kg poly bag which contains both the cement and aggregate components ready for mixing with water.

For further product information including the datasheet please visit ultra-floor.co.uk or to place an order call 01827 254402.  Keep up-to-date with the latest news, competitions and much more from UltraFloor on Twitter, follow: @Ultra_Floor.