Waterproof Membranes have been in use for thousands of years, with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as one of the earliest recorded uses of reinforced bitumen in around 600 BC. As the global population continues to expand, so does the need for affordable and efficient construction from buildings to reservoirs. Flat roofs and geomembranes, besides providing water sealing, offer the opportunity for additional functions from water conservation to horticulture and energy conservation.
Jon Nash of Applied Market Information has just completed a study on the European markets for waterproofing and will be talking about the results at the international conference on Waterproof Membranes, which takes place from 19-21 October 2009 at the Swissôtel Düsseldorf/Neuss, Düsseldorf , Germany.
Bitumat of Saudi Arabia will be outlining the use of modified bitumen membranes in the Gulf. Agru Kunststofftechnik have carried out new studies on the production and use of polymeric geomembranes. Research on design and geosynthetic sealing of slopes will be presented by GSE Lining Technology.
The International Green Roof Association will describe the use of membranes to improve environmental quality. Axter Ltd has looked at the role of membranes in water management in green walls and roofs. Geosynthetica.net has been reviewing the incorporation of solar cells into membranes. Coatema Coating Machinery has come up with equipment to laminate waterproofing membranes and incorporate flexible solar modules. There are technology advances for installers. Leister Process Technologies has examined the quality of welds as related to welding parameters, and Sensor has electrical leak and damage detection equipment. Liquid waterproofing has been used in projects such as the studded roofing at the Birmingham Bullring shopping complex: Liquid Plastics is a key supplier of these materials. Tremco Illbruck has new fluid-applied membranes for green concrete to speed up installation times. Water Seal Company has been comparing different membrane types in applications in the United Arab Emirates . Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membranes have been evaluated in roofs in four different climatic areas of North America by the Building Envelope Technology Research group. The choice of roofing technique can be complex: Prelasti will be describing the factors that should be considered.
Dow has expanded in the global membranes market. Dow Europe will be reviewing the range of thermoplastic and thermoset materials for membranes looking at new developments and standards as well as economic considerations. Lucobit will outline their latest membrane materials. The European Construction Products Directive (CPD) has demanding standards for fire resistance for olefinic membranes – Albemarle Martinswerk has studied the compounding requirements. Design and production is critical to membrane success: Bandera Luigi Costr. Mecc. has looked at the extrusion process with blown and flat dies technology.