All posts by Sarah Instarmac

Overbanding: The Truth

Overbanding is certainly a contentious subject and its use on our road network has been controversial with reports of accidents due to skidding and unsightly images of bitumen creeping out from the sides of a patch repair.

Sealing the joints of a repair to prevent water ingress and progressive fretting makes sense, so why isn’t overbanding being used on every permanent repair? Is it due to bad press? Are contractors concerned that products are costly and not fit for purpose? Are  the products on the market blighting the roads with unsightly repairs?

With reports in the press of tragedies on our road network, it has never been more important to ensure only certified products are used for repairs. To guarantee road safety is maintained it is compulsory to choose a solution that is HAPAS Approved, as per the requirements of the SROH S11.7. This clause states ‘All materials used for overbanding shall have a current HAPAS Approval certificate’ and offer ‘a minimum skid resistance value of 55’ – particularly important for motorcyclists, cyclist and horses. Failure to comply can lead to early failure and violate SROH requirements.

Overbanding is costly, is an argument put forward and whilst this may be the case in the short term, the long term benefits of using overbanding are much more cost effective. Overbanding materials have been proven to provide an excellent method of preventative maintenance. Designed for application to asphalt roads they provide a permanent repair by preventing water ingress and progressive fretting – a prime reason for the failure of reinstatements.

Using materials that provide a first time permanent repair eliminates costly repeat visits to the same site, which in turn vastly reduces the whole life costs of a repair. New overbanding solutions are quick and easy to heat apply and can be trafficked instantly which minimises the need for costly traffic management,

So the preconceived ideas of overbanding are wrong. These concerns over cost, safety and application have certainly moved forward over recent years with manufacturers developing materials which deliver all of the benefit with none of the risk. Overbanding is safer, more efficient and providers neater and more attractive surface finish than historic methods.

Innovation, listening to the needs of the industry and providing real solutions has always been of the utmost importance to Instarmac Group plc. With this in mind, in 2012, they worked alongside the British Board of Agrément to develop the UK’s first HAPAS approved thermoplastic overbanding tape – UltraCrete Instaband ECO.

Instaband ECO has been tested over time to ensure compliance SROH requirements. It has been proven to provide a waterproof seal on asphalt and is an excellent method of preventative maintenance. The product’s simple application method provides contractors with an effective way of protecting and prolonging the life of new and in-situ reinstatements, as well as repairing joints and cracks in older wearing courses.

Instaband ECO boasts a skid resistance value of 60, exceeding the demands of SROH, and can be opened to traffic in just 10 minutes, eliminating costly Section 84 fines.

Instaband ECO is available for specification via the RIBA Product Selector. Add Instaband ECO to your specification.

Instarmac: Listening, innovating and delivering to the market.

For further information on HAPAS and the benefits of using HAPAS Approved products, please contact our team of technical experts by calling 01827 254402 or emailing ultracrete@instarmac.co.uk

UltraCrete Revitalises Riga’s Streets

Following on from last year’s success at Northern Europe’s Art Nouveau capital, Instarmac’s Latvian partner, Delta Urban, have supplied world renowned reinstatement materials to assist with the rehabilitation of a number of roads and pavements throughout the centre of Riga – a project partly funded by the European Union.

Part of the project required hundreds of gullies and manholes to be repaired on some of Riga’s busiest roads, therefore it was imperative that the materials chosen would withstand constant and heavy trafficking and with minimal disruption.

UltraCrete has been the number one ironwork solution in Riga for more than 10 years. Delta Urban supplied the chosen contractors, Roakdeks and Parvalde, with UltraCrete M60 rapid strength bedding mortar and QC10 F rapid set flowable concrete for the repairs.

UltraCrete M60 is a rapid strength bedding mortar ideal for use with all access covers as well as for the bonding of granite setts, flags and bedding kerbs. M60 boasts superior compressive strength which means areas repaired with M60 can be opened to traffic in just 1 hour – ideal for the busy streets of Riga where traffic needs to keep moving.

Part of UltraCrete’s range of high specification concretes, QC10 F is a rapid setting, fibre modified concrete formulated for the backfilling around manhole frames and gullies. QC10 F has an impressive compressive strength and is opened to traffic in just 90 minutes.

Both M60 and QC10 F have been independently tested by an accredited laboratory and are proven to fully comply with the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) – an approval they have met and exceeded for over 10 years. M60 and QC10 F are proven to provide first time, permanent and durable repairs with a service life of at least 5 years.

For further information on M60, QC10 F and the other materials that make up UltraCrete’s HAPAS Approved Manhole Installation System please email international@instarmac.com or call +44 (0) 1827 254402.

You can contact Delta Urban by visiting deltaurban.lv or emailing info@deltaurban.lv.

Instarmac are proud to announce the acquisition of Aztec Aerosols

Instarmac Group plc announce that they have acquired Aztec Aerosols Ltd based in Crewe.

Instarmac Group plc is a privately owned company established in 1977 whose primary activity is manufacturing. It has developed an excellent reputation for innovation, exceptional levels of customer support, manufacturing skills and people development.

Operating within the construction and building market place the company produces products for the highway maintenance, tiling, commercial flooring, urban regeneration and internal finishing markets. Materials are manufactured at the company’s industry leading facility based near to Tamworth in the Midlands.

Winners of several awards including being a Times Top 100 company to work for since 2009, Instarmac is excited about its latest acquisition.

Aztec Aerosols was originally founded in 1964 and has over 50 years of specialist knowledge. During this time it has combined technical knowledge with innovation to deliver great products and service to its customers.

Manufacturing will remain at the Crewe production facility under the leadership of Brady Collins, Managing Director who commented:

‘Instarmac and Aztec Aerosols Ltd share many common goals. The team here at Aztec have a vast amount of experience. We look forward to working together on product development and  driving improvement  to our customers.’

John Holcroft , Instarmac Group’s Managing Director stated:

‘The acquisition of Aztec Aerosols Ltd further strengthens the group’s offer and diversifies its market activities. Commercial opportunities exist within the current groups customer base and I welcome the additional technical skills that will enhance both companies.’

Instarmac completes first manhole reinstatement in North America

Instarmac Group plc are pleased to announce that, earlier this year, they installed their first manhole cover in Canada using their HAPAS Approved Manhole Installation System.

Carried out in conjunction with the Region of Peel, the reinstatement was completed quickly with minimal disruption to motorists and in temperatures above 95ºF.

Made of up high performance bedding mortars, back fill concretes, cold lay asphalts and overbanding, Instarmac’s Manhole Installation System has been independently tested and approved by the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme for over 10 years and is proven to offer a first time permanent reinstatement. It even provides a permanent repair in all weathers and climates including freezing temperatures and extremely hot weather – ideal for countries with changeable weather patterns.

Ironwork reinstated with Instarmac’s system is opened to traffic in as little as 1 hour minimising disruption to motorists and eradicating lengthy lane closures. What’s more, Instarmac’s Manhole Installation System boasts a service life of over 5 years, eliminating costly repeat visits to the same site.

The Region of Peel were so impressed with the performance and speed of Envirobed HA104® high performance bedding mortar that they have confirmed with Instarmac’s Canadian partner, Da-Lee, this material will be used on a number of other problematic manhole covers throughout the area.

Instarmac’s Manhole Installation System is made up of Envirobed HA104® high performance bedding mortar, M60 rapid strength bedding mortar, PY4 polyester resin system, QC10 F rapid set flowable concrete, Instant Road Repair cold lay asphalt, SCJ seal and tack coat spray and Instaband ECO thermoplastic overbanding tape. For further information on these materials and the other products available in their range of world renowned highway maintenance materials, please visit www.instarmacinternational.com or email international@instarmac.com.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news from Instarmac HQ by following them on LinkedIn and Twitter @InstarmacGroup.

UltraCrete Permanent Pothole Repair is King of the Mountains

Instarmac’s French partner, Vert Bleu, have supplied UltraCrete Permanent Pothole Repair to repair the mountainous roads near Saint Jean de Maurienne on Stage 17 of the Tour de France.

Now in its 104th year, the world famous Tour de France spans a staggering 3,540km over 3 weeks and 21 stages. Stage 17 crosses the Isere, Savoir and the Hautes Alpes, and conquering this legendary Alpine terrain, a winner is crowned King of the Mountains.

In preparation for the arrival of 198 cyclists, each route was checked for defects with a number of potholes in Saint Jean de Maurienne repaired using UltraCrete Permanent Pothole Repair.

UltraCrete Permanent Pothole Repair is a first time permanent repair which has been continuously developed over the past 40 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 Instarmac backs up its technical claims! Strength is gained by compaction, becoming stronger the more traffic travels over it, making it perfect for heavily trafficked roads and areas of turning and braking.

With a skid resistance value (SRV) of > 88, UltraCrete Permanent Pothole Repair provides a safer repair for cyclists and other road users as the repair is compatible with the existing road surface and offers maximum grip for tyres – even in wet weather!

Applied in 3 easy steps – clean, pour, compact – UltraCrete Permanent Pothole Repair can be applied in all weathers – it can even be used in freezing temperatures. What’s more, potholes repaired with UltraCrete Permanent Pothole Repair can be trafficked instantly making it ideal for environments where delays and disruption are not an option!

This innovative material conforms to rigorous European Testing, 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.

Permanent Pothole Repair is widely available throughout France through Vert Bleu. To contact Vert Bleu, please call +33 (0)4 79 84 41 or visit www.ultracrete.fr.

For further information on Permanent Pothole Repair and the other first time permanent repair products available from UltraCrete please email international@instarmac.com or visit www.instarmacinternational.com.

The Instarmac Difference

Instarmac, home to UltraCrete, has forged a reputation as one of the industry’s market leaders through continued innovation and commitment. Instarmac works alongside leading industry bodies to develop specifications and approvals for a range of maintenance solutions that help raise standards, reduce risk and save you money in the long term.

In 2002 they helped set the performance criteria of the HA104 specification for bedding mortar for ironwork and were the first manufacturer to develop a cementitious version that fully meets those requirements; Envirobed HA104®.

They created the first HAPAS approved thermoplastic overbanding tape Instaband ECO alongside the British Board of Agrément. They also developed the HAPAS standard for pothole repair materials which is widely recognised across the industry.

Many of their highways maintenance products have been HAPAS approved for over 15 years which has required significant work and investment but provides independent evidence that their materials are fit for purpose.

More recently they have worked with the Road Surface Treatment Association and other committee members to create a Code of Practice for Ironwork Systems Installation and Refurbishment. The code promotes best practice and aims to increase the service life of installations through a right first time approach, a method that Instarmac has always strongly endorsed.

Their health and safety processes have been commended by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents from whom they have recently received their 5th consecutive Gold Award.

The awards don’t stop there. They have been placed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies for eight years and are currently ranked number one in the Midlands Mid Market 300 which recognises top performing businesses. Instarmac also operate their own FORS Silver accredited fleet and are named as a Low-Risk Operator by the DVSA. They have recently completed the transition to the new ISO accreditations, one of the first companies to do so.

Instarmac knows that when businesses listen, collaborate and innovate with their customers, they thrive.

A customer on a recent visit to Instarmac’s premises commented, ‘It was a very worthwhile visit, and certainly has given us a couple of areas to go away and look at. I really hadn’t appreciated how big and diverse Instamac is, and it’s great to see you at the forefront of innovation and product development.’

If you would like to experience the Instarmac Difference or visit our award winning premises please get in touch. Tel: 01827 872244 Email: enquiries@instarmac.co.uk

Instarmac achieves prestigious RoSPA Gold Medal Award

Instarmac Group plc are delighted to have been awarded the coveted Gold Medal, an honour only given to those who achieve 5 consecutive Gold Awards in the annual RoSPA Health and Safety Awards.

In its 61st year, these respected awards are open to businesses and organisations of all sizes, across a wide spectrum of industries and celebrate those who are committed to raising health and safety management standards.

The judging panel of 24 leading industry experts, measure the performance of each organisation on areas such as identification, assessment, prevention and control and health risks, wellness at work, communication of information, and active monitoring and reviewing of health performance. They also consider any specific activities which distinguish an organisations approach to health work.

RoSPA’s Chairman, Michael D Parker CBE presented Instarmac’s Quality and Operations Manager, Darren Gough with the respected award during a ceremony held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.

“The health and safety of all those who work, visit and deliver to our premises in Tamworth has always been of the highest importance. The QHSE team at Instarmac have worked intensively to achieve this prestigious accolade and we are thrilled to receive this award for the 5th year in succession, as it continues to signify our commitment towards health and safety” Darren Gough.

This achievement is the latest in a long line of awards for Instarmac. In 2017 they were placed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies for the eighth year, were ranked number one in the Mid Market 300, were named as a Low-Risk Operator by the DVSA, received a FORS Silver Award and completed the transition to the new ISO accreditations, one of the first companies to do so.

For more information on Instarmac, their product offering and career opportunities, please visit instarmac.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1827 254402. You can keep up-to-date with all the latest news from Instarmac by following them on Twitter @InstarmacGroup.

New industry Code of Practice for Ironwork Systems Installation and Refurbishment.

A new industry Code of Practice for Ironwork Systems Installation and Refurbishment has been published by the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) to help increase the service life of ironwork reinstatements.

The code has been reviewed and endorsed by Highways England and ADEPT and promotes industry best practice and a right first time approach to help prolong the life of ironwork installations as well as minimise return visits, customer complaints and any potential public health and safety issues associated with failed ironwork.

The Code provides guidance on how to avoid early life failure, how to achieve a high quality installation and ensure a high quality repair. It covers installation and refurbishment of ironwork systems including gulley tops and chamber covers. The Code cross references HA104/09 Chamber Tops and Gulley Tops for Road Drainage and Services: Installation and Maintenance in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. It also cross references the Specification for Reinstatement of Openings in Highways (SROH).

The Code considers all aspects of installation and maintenance, including potential areas for failure. It consolidates existing industry experience into one document offering comprehensive industry best practice. Particular advice is given for brickwork supporting the frame and cover, bedding mortar selection and backfill selection around the ironwork installation plus surfacing and over-banding around the ironwork installation.

The health and safety, environment, training and quality assurance responsibilities of client and contractor are also set out by the code. It also provides guidance on site planning, programming, co-ordination and traffic management. A useful inclusion is the pre-contract, on-site and post-contract check-lists. Copies of the Code of Practice for Ironwork Systems Installation and Refurbishment may be downloaded from the RSTA website.

If you would like to know more, please contact David Youell,  Vice chairman , Ironwork Installation & Refurbishment sub-committee, RSTA.
Tel: 07970 814330
Email: davidy@instarmac.co.uk

Source: rsta-uk.org

Instarmac ranks number one in Mid Market 300

Every year Insider magazine lists the Midlands top performing 300 businesses with a turnover of £20 – £50million and Instarmac Group plc are delighted to have been ranked number one in this respected list.

Sponsored by HSBC, Coventry University and the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Insider magazine uses Experian IQ to measure each company’s turnover and pre-tax profit. Using these two numbers, an average is taken and the top 300 are drawn in order from that list.

As well as turnover and pre-tax profit, Insider also looked at profit margin, the amount of businesses exporting and number of employees. Their research showed that, not only have average profits and exports increased but Midlands businesses have also created 10,306 jobs over the past year – great news for local businesses and residents.

Instarmac Group plc are a market-leading manufacturer of cement and bitumen based products to the world markets. Established in 1977, Instarmac have built a solid reputation based on the research, development and production of innovative materials used in the highway maintenance, urban regeneration, tiling, commercial flooring and internal finishing sectors.

Instarmac are committed to providing high specification products that are durable and independently tested, backed up by first-class customer, technical and sales support.

This achievement is the latest in a long line of awards of Instarmac. In 2017 they were placed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies for the eighth year, achieved a RoSPA Gold Award for the fifth year, were ranked as a Low-Risk Operator by the DVSA, received a FORS Silver Award and completed the transition to the new ISO accreditations, one of the first companies to do so.

For more information on Instarmac, their product offering and career opportunities please visit Instarmac.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1827 254402. You can keep up-to-date with all the latest news from Instarmac by following them on Twitter @InstarmacGroup.

HAPAS: What’s behind the certification?

HAPAS stands for the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme, which was developed by market experts to offer consistent and clear testing methods for products and systems designed for use in the highways industry.  It is run and maintained exclusively by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) one of the UK’s leading organisations offering approval, certification and test services to manufacturers supplying the construction industry. Products that are ‘approved’ lead the way in providing definitive guidance for local authorities and contractors alike on highway maintenance.

A HAPAS certificate can be perceived as just a piece of paper but it requires a significant amount of work and investment from businesses seeking approvals. Testing can typically cost 30k per certificate, depending on the product or system being assessed.

Certificates are issued through a rigorous assessment process which involves laboratory and field testing, the latter of which can take up to two years, as well as regular site inspections and performance trials.

Once the certificate is issued, the manufacturer is audited every 6 months to ensure the assessment criteria is being maintained. Such inspections include calibration of equipment, review of packaging and raw material suppliers as well as ensuring that each person involved in the product’s production is adequately trained.  If the manufacturer needs to change any of the ingredients or processes involved in producing the product, they have to gain approval from the BBA.

The certificate is re-assessed every 3 years in order for it to be re-issued. Manufacturers, like Instarmac who produce a range of HAPAS approved highways maintenance materials under their UltraCrete brand, undergo further scrutiny and are required to provide sites where their products have been in-situ for some time. These sites are inspected to verify the product’s integrity; its formulation is also tested to ensure it matches the version that was initially sanctioned. The 6 monthly and 3 yearly reviews incur further costs which are considerable over the life of the certificate.

Any product that has such approval can boast assurance of confidence and long-term proven durability.

It raises the question of why? Why would anyone choose to use a material for repairing our roads, when it has none of this assurance? Products that aren’t approved haven’t undergone rigorous testing, and ultimately provide no independent evidence that they are ‘fit for purpose’.

The endless pothole debate continues, worsening after extreme winter, ravaging our road network and heightening risks to road users. The situation will only deteriorate if the use of un-proven ‘quick fix’ products continues.  Proven materials ‘stay where they are put’ and don’t crack or break out causing repeat maintenance visits.

Further advantages of using HAPAS approved materials include an extended service life, a reduction in insurance, personal injury claims and most importantly, a reduction in whole life costs. There’s an endless list of benefits from choosing a material bearing the HAPAS mark of quality.