The South African construction industry is multi-faceted and complex. With projects ranging from large scale green energy installations, to smaller at home DIY and general maintenance projects, it can be further classified into buildings, infrastructure and industrial construction. With the advancement of science and technology, we are seeing improved materials being utilised, as well as new composite and hybrid materials. According to various sources, the construction industry is projected to grow by 4% to 6% in the short term and by only 1% to 2% over the next 3 to 5 years.
The construction industry has come a long way from the Stone Age, where buildings were first built from wood, mud or rocks that were simply packed on top of each other. While these materials are still very popular in a much-updated guise (granted, that they have improved significantly in quality and usage), newer, more advanced techniques and materials are becoming much more prevalent. Hybrid materials are now being used in electronics, mechanics, energy conversion and storage as well as self-healing coatings for corrosion control paints. Hybrid construction methods also involve utilising multiple material types (such as wood, steel, glass) in new and unique ways. Composite materials provide several benefits (depending on the project requirement), such as a higher strength to weight ratio. Ceramic, carbon, and polymer composites are becoming very popular in the green energy generation, aircraft and aerospace, civil and general construction, as well as automotive industries.
Considering that the construction industry employs in the region of 8% of the South African workforce, the need for products offering “Value for Money” has become more important than ever before. The focus on occupational health and safety is now more than ever in the spotlight, which highlights the need for correct product selection to ensure a safe working environment.
The general lack of infrastructure projects, long process of contracts being approved and awarded, and pandemic induced factors means that more value is now required out of previously over-looked costs – consumables such as abrasives being an example. It is easy to find an abrasive product, but the question to ask is what kind of result is required.
Grinding Techniques, as a local manufacturer and supplier of premium abrasive solutions, is at the forefront of product development suited to these changing conditions. Constant testing and development are required to ensure that these new age materials are processed within the required tolerances and at an economical rate. Ceramic grains and super abrasives (diamond and CBN) are becoming the popular choice, but proper training and education is required to ensure that operators understand the differences, and correct, safe usages of these products. The loss of skilled workers over the years has seen a higher percentage of unskilled workers operating on construction projects. Grinding Techniques attempts to mitigate some of this risk by also offering training programs at retail and informal market levels.
Grinding Techniques manufactures true “Value for Money” abrasives that are tailored to optimise any construction project. The Superflex Professional range of cutting and grinding discs will help to reduce material wastage, reduce overall working time, and provide a better finished product. Superflex and Andor diamond saw blades are optimised for construction material applications. Ceramic coated abrasive products (such as sanding discs and belts) for Stainless Steels and other difficult to work materials, provide superior results.
The introduction of cordless Power tools on construction sites have brought about new dynamic in cutting and grinding, in that we now see a much higher percentage of cordless tools being used on construction sites, abrasive products also need to be optimised to retain the best possible balance of performance for these machines and this is where Grinding Techniques can assist you in selecting the correct abrasive product for your application.
We have, of late, seen a big shift towards renewable energy and energy saving projects in South Africa and across the world. Using abrasive products that reduce operating time, speed up processes and reduce waste will go a long way to assistin the greening process of the construction industry. It may only be a small part to play, but the sum of all small changes can and will add up to a major shift in the right direction.
Grinding Techniques is equipped to assist in every phase of a construction project to ensure that product selection is optimised to meet these goals.