National Precast’s Industry Partner Dulux AcraTex has formulated end-to-end coating solutions for tilt up and precast concrete surfaces. Dulux AcraTex National Commercial Manager Paul Augello talks about the innovations behind the products.
Q: Could you please provide an overview of Dulux’s Acratex range and the brand’s involvement with the precast industry?
Dulux Acratex is a separate business unit within the Dulux brand, with a specialised focus on architectural texture finishes, protective membranes and roofing finishing solutions, with over 45 years of innovation and service. Acratex stands for Acrylic Texture System, which is a uniquely designed formulation from Dulux that resists cracking and staining observed in cement renders.
Around 18 months ago, we identified a gap in the market for coating solutions specifically designed for precast and tilt up construction. This was followed by the launch of Dulux Acratex’s BondFree Concentrate surface treatment and Acratex AcraTilt coating, which offer an end-to-end preparation and coating system to protect precast concrete surfaces.
Even prior to launching these two products, the Dulux Acratex AcraShield was a well-respected product within the industry for decades, used for coating various substrates including tilt up concrete.
Q: What are the unique features of these products?
The Acratex BondFree Concentrate is a water dilutable cleansing solution specifically designed to remove barrier-type form release agents (bond breakers) from concrete panels prior to the application of a coating system. So, in essence, Acratex BondFree Concentrate is a degreaser. It breaks down the oily residue after the formwork is removed from concrete panels, ensureing proper adhesion of all coatings, be it paints, stains or coatings that protect precast from graffiti or pollution. Existing cleaning agents in the market often require a lot of water in the cleaning process. By facilitating easy rinsing, Acratex BondFree Concentrate is an environmentally friendly option for cleaning the concrete surface.
The Acratex AcraTilt product is formulated to be a self-priming coating on tilt up concrete and even masonry surfaces. This means you can use Acratex AcraTilt on all clean concrete surfaces without any primer and it will render a smooth and durable surface. In formulating the Acrtex AcraTilt, we have also had the painter in mind. Typically, high fill coatings are hard to apply as they are thicker, but Acratex AcraTilt has been formulated to be easy to apply and to provide a good coverage. That is also reflected in the positive feedback we have been receiving from the market.
Q: What is the significance of these products for your customers?
Providing precast concrete users a coating option specifically designed to provide good aesthetics and high durability means instead of having all grey surfaces, users can now achieve a clean, vivid white finish, without requiring any priming. This is certainly an improvement from an aesthetics point of view. But more importantly, Acratex AcraTilt helps protect the concrete surface against degradation, elongating the life of concrete. By eliminating the need for a primer, application is also quicker and more economical.
Q: How long have you been a partner with the National Precast Concrete Association Australia and why is the partnership important to you?
It’s been nearly 12 months since we joined the Association in line with our targeted focus on the precast coating market. We joined National Precast as we knew they would help us from a networking perspective and allow us to increase awareness about our products. We have found that being a partner with National Precast has allowed us to better network within different states. Our sales managers have attended a lot of meetings with National Precast members over the past months, which has helped us get a good understanding of the precast projects in each state. It’s been a great partnership from that perspective.
Q: What is in the pipeline for the future for Dulux Acratex?
Our core business focus currently is on the housings industry, which is going through a boom phase. The other opportunity for us is in the remedial space, given the extend of re-cladding projects taking place in major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney. We will be working closely with the industry to introduce our solutions for tilt up and precast concrete and to bring the benefits to end users.
This article was originally published in the March edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.