The expansion of the ROCKWOOL manufacturing facility in Bridgend, South Wales, was completed February 2019. A key source of fire-resistant insulating and cladding materials, the Welsh plant expansion was built on a PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete slab to ensure durability and enhanced resistance to chemical attacks.
Headquartered in Denmark, the ROCKWOOL Group, which also includes the ROCKFON and FLUMROC brands, is a multi-national manufacturer of mineral wool products. As one of the world's largest makers of insulation materials, the company currently maintains 28 manufacturing sites around the world – including the ROCKWOOL facility at Bridgend, South Wales.
The insulation materials manufactured at the Bridgend factory are non-combustible insulation and fire-retardant materials made of “mineral wool,” or fiber materials that are formed by spinning or drawing molten minerals. In addition to having excellent thermal properties, it is highly fire-resistant and does not release toxic gases or smoke when exposed to high heat. ROCKWOOL products are widely used as cladding for residential and commercial buildings.
“In the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy in West London, new regulations will ensure that all high-rise buildings in the UK have non-combustible cladding,” explains Stephen Mather, Manager of Penetron UK. “As it turns out, ROCKWOOL is one of the only companies to make this product in the UK.”
The ongoing £17 million (US$22 million) Bridgend expansion project has increased the onsite capacity to manufacture, store and distribute insulation products and includes a new loading area and access road to help improve traffic control at the plant.
“The Bridgend project specifications required a durable concrete foundation slab resistant to any chemical ingress,” says Stephen Mather. “The designers contacted Penetron about how to best meet the demands for watertight concrete floors with proven durability and extended service life.”
“If it’s green, it’s Penetron!”
PENETRON ADMIX with a tracer was added to the freshly-batched concrete mix and used for more than 1,000 m2 (11,000 square feet) of concrete floor slabs. The tracer provides construction and design teams with a reliable identification control tool – and proof that “Penetron is in the mix.” During construction, the non-toxic tracer will be visible as a bright green tint in the bleed water. The color dissipates as the bleed water evaporates, leaving the concrete unstained.
Finally, PENEBAR SW water stop strips were installed to seal all resulting construction joints in the new slab.