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Sprayed Polymer Mortar

  1. Product Description: "Gascon" Polymer mortar is an intermediate construction material used for the construction of low cost housing and  other building structures such as barns, stores, cattle shades, etc. It is a light weight (100 pcf) structural (3000 psi) mortar made by adding a liquid polymer additive known as Gascon to standard batches of cement, sand and water. The main advantages of this construction material are it eliminates cold-joint delamination and shrinkage cracking during spray application; it is an excellent thermal insulator; it does not require forms in the construction of conventional and thin-shell reinforced concrete structures; it requires 30% less material than do conventional methods; it results in a 30% reduction of gravity loads as well as a 30% reduction of earth quake forces; and it is fireproof, termite-proof, dry rot proof and earthquake and typhoon resistant. The material can be widely used for constructing houses for low income people both in the rural and urban areas of the Region. 


  1. Market Potential: Except in some sections of the urban centers, all houses in the Region can be considered as substandard. If the standard of living of the people permits, almost 90 percent of the houses need upgrading or replacement. But forced by poverty, the overwhelming majority of the people in the Amhara region live in houses unfit for human habitation by the standards of even recently developed countries. One of the major constraints for the poor or sub-standard housing in the Amhara Region is the lack or shortage of affordable modern construction materials such as mortars, roofing products, doors, windows, etc. Practically all the industrial construction materials consumed in the region are either imported from abroad or from other parts of the country. On top of increasing prices of these materials, the transportation cost makes them very expensive to house builders of the region. Building materials such "Gascon" polymer mortar will reduce the cost of construction thereby increasing the number of people who can build better homes with improved standards. In every urban center of the Region, there are extreme shortages of residential houses for every class of people:- civil servants, merchants, young couples and other social groups. As a result, people are forced to pay exorbitant rents for small rooms or "houses". If construction costs decrease due to inexpensive building materials, more and more people will be able to build their own houses.  Of the 19.2 million people (2006) living in the Amhara Region, about 2.2 million (11.5 percent) live in urban areas. Of these urban residents, it is safe to assume that at least 50 percent do not have their own houses. This means that about 1.1 million people or 220,000 families do not own their own houses. If we assume that one family needs 50m2 of a house (at the minimum), the housing requirement for the 220,000 families will be 11 million m2 or 220,000 units. To build a 502 house, about 25,000 m3 of "Gascon" polymer mortar is needed. Hence to build 11 million m2 of houses, about 5.5 million m3 of the product will be needed. This is the potential demand for "Gascon" polymer mortar in the Region. If we assume that these housing units will be built in the next 10 years (with out considering additional annual demand), the annual demand for the mortar will be 0.55 million m3. This demand can absorb the production capacity of many polymer mortar producing units to be located in the Region.  


  1. Source of raw material: The main inputs are cement, sand and a liquid polymer additive called Gascon. The liquid polymer will be imported while the two other inputs will be obtained from national and local sources.   


4. Process and Technology: The process involves the mixing, pumping and spraying of the mortar using a standard plaster mixer pump. The machinery and equipment needed for the project will be taken to the construction site where the houses are to be built. The main machinery and other equipment needed are mixer pump, hoses and couplings, water quick fill tank, miscellaneous equipment.


  1. Estimated Investment: For a unit which  will produce about 2000m3 of polymer mortar and which will be sufficient for building 80 houses or 4000m2 , the estimated investment cost will be :-

Ø  Buildings/shades (temporary) 50 m2 = Birr    10,000

Ø  Machinery ..................................           = Birr    280,000

Ø  Working capital...........................           = Birr    200,000

                                                                  Total    = Birr   490,000


  1. Benefits: increases the number of better housing units in each urban center fo the Region, reduces the extreme shortage of housing in the Region.


  1. Location:  Construction sites.