High Quality Sand has become a rare resource

Overcoming Material Shortage

The global materials markets have been in an unstable situation throughout 2021, both related to prices and delivery times. This irregular situation together with the need to save finite, high-quality materials has challenged R&D with qualification testing of numerous alternative and second-sourced materials and fueled the development of product formulations relying on recycled or bio-sourced materials.

Recycled or bio-sourced materials

With a focus on circular economy and finding ways of mitigating the effects of climate change, projects that involve the use of recycled or bio-sourced materials were given priority. New solutions like PARNATUR®, the first “easy-to-spray” thermal and phonic insulation hemp-based mortar, contribute to a growing use of biosources aggregates in the building industry. Since the beginning of 2021, Sika has been cooperating with ADEME, the French Governmental Agency in charge of environment & energy, to replace traditional silica sand in mortar production.

Together with ADEME, Sika has been conducting a research project, called “Sand”, to investigate how recycling concrete waste on an industrial scale might deliver a solution not only for concrete but for dry-mix and universal mortars too. The aim is to reduce the extraction of natural silica sand and to later replicate the recycling process in mortar production facilities in geographic areas with limited sand access. Furthermore, Sika has been developing new formulation routes for dry-mix mortars and directs the production process towards managing recycled and locally processed aggregates in the Sika product range.

Bio-based Coatings

Another example of Sika’s competence in creating formulations based on alternative materials are bio-based coatings. With rising environmental concerns and increasing customer demands for sustainable products, bio-based systems are believed to play a more significant role in the future. Sika is therefore strengthening the development of water-based protective coatings based on alternative, bio-based materials.

Following the Sika Growth Strategy and the Sustainability Strategy “More Value – Less Impact,” the company has developed a new water-based platform for concrete protection coatings and processed the further development of water-borne coatings for reinforced concrete by reducing the use of fossil-based materials and moving the formulation towards bio-based materials like sugars, ethanol, or plant oils, and toward using biogas or bionaphtha from renewable feedstocks.

Mobile screen showing Sika concrete Sand App welcome page with sand castle and hot air balloon

New Sika Sand App

Sand has become a scarce resource and good sand analytics are therefore becoming increasingly important.In 2021, Sika developed and implemented the Sika Sand App, a highly innovative digital solution for fast andefficient sand analysis. The Sika Sand App is an analytical device and provides information about sand particlesize distribution, particle shape parameter, distribution of particle shape parameter per sieve opening aswell as fineness modulus. The new Sika Sand App is a step towards optimized identification of available sandquality and towards finding alternatives to overcome shortage of high-quality sand without performance loss.