MechChem Africa

On November 29, 2017, WACKER, the Munich-based chemical company, together with its long-term distributor IMCD South Africa, launched its first MYLAB mobile laboratory in Johannesburg.

Wacker mobile labWACKER’s MYLAB is housed in a 40-foot (12.2 m) container at IMCD’s premises in Johannesburg and serves as a test facility for vinyl-acetate-ethylene (VAE) based dispersions and dispersible polymer powders for the paint, coatings and the construction industries. MYLAB aims at developing region-specific solutions for the up-and-coming regional industry and offering technical support for local business.

The decision to establish a mobile laboratory in Johannesburg reflects the rapid development of the construction industry in South Africa and in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). To improve the building quality, there is a growing interest in new, higher quality construction materials and chemicals.

The WACKER MYLAB in Johannesburg is an optimal facility for customer support in the region that combines local raw materials and construction methods with high-quality WACKER binders. “Our goal is to find regional solutions that meet the individual requirements of our local construction-industry customers. With WACKER MYLAB we can develop and test innovative applications that comply with the architectural tradition, natural resources and the local climate,” said Cyril Cisinski, managing director, WACKER Chemicals Middle East at the inauguration ceremony. The state-of-the-art lab equipment provides detailed analyses for flow characteristics, such as, tensile adhesion strength, compressive strength and linear shrinkage or the flexural strength of cured mortar.

IMCD South Africa

Since its beginning in 2006, IMCD South Africa has grown more than tenfold and is now one of the leading speciality chemical companies in sub-Saharan Africa. IMCD South Africa provides national market coverage as well as penetration into other African countries. Its industry-leading technical and commercial teams focus on adding value for customers and principals alike.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, IMCD also has branches in Cape Town and Durban. Extensive warehousing facilities are in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London. In addition, IMCD South Africa operates technical application centres in Johannesburg dedicated to the coatings and personal care (specialising in ethnic skin care and hair care) markets. These facilities provide expert formulation and analytical assistance to ensure continuous growth for its partners, whilst also holding customer workshops for a direct formulation experience.

Furthermore, the lab serves also for the up-and-coming South African and SADC paints and coatings industry. WACKER MYLAB offers, for example, the possibility to test the appearance, wet scrub, specular gloss and block resistance of paints and coatings formulated with VAE-dispersions.

The WACKER MYLAB concept takes regionalisation one-step further, strengthening WACKER’s technical expertise for local markets. “WACKER MYLAB will help us to not only to transfer our extensive expertise in sustainable building materials, but also to increase awareness of the advantages and market prospects of construction chemicals,” added Mohamed Sanaobar, regional technical director for WACKER Chemicals, Middle East. WACKER’s global network of technical centres also offers support by providing consulting services and conducting supplementary analyses.

In spring 2010, WACKER further established a local branch of its international training and competence centre, the WACKER Academy, at its technical centre in Dubai. From Dubai, the subsidiary serves customers from the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East and Africa.

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