Buy cheap and waste money

Recently one of our customers drew my attention to the study “Magnesium oxide boards cause moisture damage inside facades in new Danish buildings” conducted by Kurt Kiel Overgaard Hansen, Tommy Bunch-Nielsen, Bent and Carsten Grelk Red. These authors are working at the Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark and the Bunch Building Institute. The focus of the study was around treating the application of magnesium oxide, or shortly MgO boards in ventilated facades.

The article describes the effect of drops of saline (sodium chloride in water) (NaCl) leaked from the boards falling at screws, fittings and anchors of metal which resulted in negative impacts on the façade structure and a loss of several million Euros for the builder. The research concluded that MgO boards should not be used in ventilated façade systems and in situations where excessive humidity exists. The boards used by the Danes are dissolved by water and the drops of salt erodes metal construction materials. In the article several tests have been conducted to underpin the analyses.


ventilated facade in Denmark

 

Why you can not draw any generic conclusions based on this article?

The Danish investigators only refer to the sheathing board product that is used by this company. It is almost impossible to find out where this building material is purchased, as well as the composition of the boards and which quality control system is used in order to guarantee the performance.

The importance of CE-certified building materials

Our answer to this problem is a CE-certificate combined with a Declaration of Performance (DoP). The MgO board purchasing expert is aware of China’s availability of cheap and low range sheathing board products. You might come across Chinese producers who have a Quality Certificate and even a copy of a CE Certificate copied of somebody else. (Known as a Chinese Export certificate). The total expenses of European certification is more than USD 150.000. In addition, for many producers in China it is hard to comply with all requirements of CE marking. The plant of SINH (Ningbo) Construction Material Co. Ltd. is one of the few CE certified MgO board producing companies with audits of the Dutch independent organization KIWA. This voluntary CE marking ensures consistent quality that is recorded through an accredited DoP Declaration and an ETA (European Technical Assessment) by European standards. Therefore, it is of vital importance to purchase MgO boards from solid certified companies instead of going for a quick (and cheap) Alibaba deal.

CE marking

 

The chemical composition of the board

The article starts with the basic problem of the generation of tears on the board, which results in salty water, and consequently causes corrosion of the metal parts. Although a very thorough analysis, unfortunately the research does not conclude with a solution to the problem. The professional purchaser is already aware of the problem, with the recipe of non-certified MgO building materials and the knowledge that this will bring consequential losses in the future. It is impossible to mess with recipes having CE marking accompanied by a DoP, without any consequences for the CE certification. SINH Building Solutions is fully aware of the issues relating to the leaking of salty water on boards, with the amount of chloride and saw-dust in this product. With our unique recipe, we guarantee that the SINH™ board will not show the same problems that were described in this Danish study.

Why buy cheap and waste money?

A very common filling material for MgO boards is saw dust. This is a relatively cheap filler, which also fits perfectly in dry conditions. The producer can create more margin and/or guarantee low purchasing prices for the trader if he increases the amount of wood, which is at the expense of the amount of magnesium oxide powder in the recipe. These kinds of non- certified producers fail to show concern around the integrity of the board which may swell, mold or even start to rot. The same he can do adding big particle saw dust.


SINH™ board certified MgO boards

 

Application of MgO boards in facades

A MgO board is an open material, which means it has good moisture ab- and desorption properties. The application of this material in ventilated facades, could have been correct if the chemical recipe contained the right mix of material. Above that we always recommend our customers to protect the boards for all kinds of weather conditions. Doing so the MgO board will become an underlayment board. We have found many glue- stucco- and paint companies such as: Innotec, Schönox, Ardex, Codex, Coba, Bostik, Strikolith, etc. who have tested our boards thoroughly with submersion and freezing-thawing scenarios with some suppliers even providing a warranty of 10 years.

These companies also provide working instructions for the usage of their products. Options to finish the board are: stone strips, ceramics, cork, paint or plaster work.

Contact Team SINH

The SINH Building Solutions team invites you to add on sharing information about this subject and contribute to this discussion. We are keen to know how we can cooperate with your company to make successful use of this great material. Call us: +31 (0)88 374 8400, drop an e-mail or fill out our contact form below.

 

Blog: Jan Engels

 

SINH™ magnesium oxide building products at Green Building Congress

The Green Building Congress took place in Mumbai from 6 to 8 October this year. The Indian Green Building Council facilitated this event.
This is a look back of Withindia Building Solutions. 

Professionals from all over the world linked to sustainable building showed up during this congress to attend speeches from the leading innovators in green building. In addition companies connected to green building had the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their latest product innovations at the exhibition hall.
The exhibition hall contained over a hundred stands, settled by the most sustainable building brands of the world.
 
 

Withindia Building Solutions and Magnesium Oxide

Why magnesium oxide products? First of all this mineral has a low carbon footprint and it contributes to greener building methods. Withindia Building Solutions (WIBS) designs and produces panels and boards containing magnesium oxide for new-build, renovation or restoration purposes. Especially relevant is the presence of WIBS, and therefore it attended both the exhibition and congress. WIBS got the chance to introduce their product range with: SINH™ board, SINH™ laminate, and SINH™ panel to many constructors and architects. 

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Visitors at the Withindia exhibition stand at The Green Building Congress

 

“It is good to see people in India are interested and focussed on green building for a sustainable future.”

Stijn Veeger, Product Manager at Withindia Building Solutions (SINH™)

 

SINH™

Visitors have especially a lot of interest in SINH™ panelsPrefabricated building is a topic that is gaining more and more popularity in India and in addition Europe. Since this was the topic of the key note speakers of the first morning of the congress our stand was visited by innovative-thinking constructors and architects to see our SINH panel ‘LIVE’.
In conclusion: The Green Building Congress was a great success and a perfect match for WIBS.

Blog: Stijn Veeger

How to paint or plaster magnesium oxide boards?

Learn how to build interior walls with SINH™ boards.

We did make a step by step video tutorial. See how easy it is to apply various finishing options on SINH™ boards.

Benefits of SINH™ board wall with a wood-batten or metal stud:

  • Simple and easy to install
  • Magnesiumoxide board is lightweight, strong and impact resistant
  • fire-resistant sheet material
  • Save drying time; screws instead of adhesives
  • Does not deform when it comes into contact with water

 

Tools and materials you’ll need:

  • Standard painting tools
  • Taping knife
  • Joint finishing knife
  • Standard health & safety gear

 

How to video

Steps wall plaster

  1. Build the interior walls with SINH™ boards, click here for the how-to-video
  2. Apply a coat of plaster primer
  3. Cover the joints between the MgO boards with fibre-mesh tape
  4. Plaster the wall according to regular plastering techniques

 

hoe-werk-ik-een-sinh-board-wand-af-doe-het-zelf-foto

 

Steps paint or wallpaper

  1. Build the interior walls with SINH™ boards, click here for the how-to-video
  2. To prevent cracks, fill and smoothen the joints with a suitable finishing paste
  3. For optimal result apply two or three layers
  4. Apply paint primer
  5. Paint the wall or apply wallpaper

 

hoe-werk-ik-een-sinh-board-wand-af-doe-het-zelf-foto

For any further assistance or questions, please get in touch with our technical team.
Or visit our documentation and how to use section.

 

Blog: Pablo Heiliegers

Can cold storage rooms add value to Indian farmers?

This article is about farming in Gujarat (India) and how Farmers could benefit from using cold storage rooms.

Talking Farming Numbers (Gujarat)
Gujarat is one of the 29 states of India and has a population of more than 65 million people and a surface of 196.024 km². (Population Gujarat, 2015) Ahmedabad is its central city. Gujarat is divided 26 districts with each their own typical crops. The total yearly production of fruit is more than 8 million Tons and the production of vegetables is more than 11 million Tons a year. (Pandya, 2014) Next to fruits & vegetables flowers and spices are also cultivated.

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Current Value Chain for Fruits & Vegetables (Gujarat)

can-cold-storage-rooms-add-value-sinhboard-magnesium-oxide-boards-blogpicture-mrunal-2011

As shown above, there is a complicated value chain for fruits and vegetables in India. Sometimes the crops will be traded more than 6 times before it reaches the end-consumer. The multiply factor between the selling price for the farmers and the end-consumer price can be more 10!

The current supply chain for national trade does not require cold storages. All trading of fruits and vegetables is done within a maximum of three days. Most of the harvesting will be finished during the mornings. Directly after harvesting the crops will be graded and sorted. The best quality products will go to the APMC’s and will be traded to wholesalers. The lower quality products will be traded directly at local markets. The APMC’s and wholesalers trade the harvests on the same day they are harvested. Dependent on the buyer, the harvest load will be transported by night in unrefrigerated trucks. The transport happens always at night because of lower temperatures.

APMC: law
The APMC act is established to ensure that intermediaries do not compel farmers to sell their products at the farm gate against extremely low prices. All food products should first be brought to the market yard and then be sold through auction. (Wikipedia, sd)

Mandi’s
‘’ A State is geographically divided and Markets (Mandis) are established at different places within the states. Farmers have to sell their products through the auction in Mandi. To operate in Mandi, a trader has to get a license. Wholesale, retail traders (e.g. shopping mall owners) or food processing companies cannot buy farm output directly from the farmer. They have to buy through the Mandi.’’ (Wikipedia, sd)

Do cold storage rooms have value in the Value Chain?

1. Let’s start with Definitions of Cold storage, cold room and pre-cooling
A cold storage is a space in a building where crops can be stored for a longer time. The main purpose of a cold storage is to store crops for a longer time to fulfill the different demands during the year and to get a better price for the crops. To optimize the performance of cold storage machines that can control the ideal humidity are essential. Because every crop has a different ideal cooling temperature and humidity, cold storages are used for only on crop at the same time.

A cold room is a storage space that is used to keep products cool between trading. Products stay in general for a maximum of three days in the cold rooms. Cold rooms are in general not equipped with humidity control. Cold rooms are used to cool different types of fruits and vegetables at the same time.

Pre-cooling is a technique were the crops within 4 hours after harvesting gets cooled. Several studies showed that when pre-cooling is applied on crops the shelf life will extend significantly.

2. Current cold storage presence Gujarat
Nowadays there are around 450 cold storages present in Gujarat. Mr. Ashish Guru, president of the Gujarat Cold Storage Association explained there are around 216 cold storages for potatoes and another 25 are coming up.
Gujarat is the only state that offers power subsidy for cold storages. (Agriexchange, sd) Potato can be preserved for more than 10 months in a cold storage. The existing cold storages in Gujarat have an average stock capacity of 2000 MT. (business-standard, sd)

3. Potatoes, Onions and Egg-plant (Brinjal)
As explained above, there is already a lot of cold storage present in Gujarat for potato. Onions need to be dried for at least 5 weeks and by that time they will be traded in the market. Brinjal has a too short shelf life in a cold storage with a maximum of 14 days under optimal conditions.

4. How to select other fruits & vegetables for cold rooms?
There are five requirements for the selection of a crop that is suitable for cold rooms:

The shelf life of the crop will be significantly extended when they will be cooled
The production volume of the concerning crop
The average price must be above a certain price per kg per volume If the crop has a low volume/price ratio a cold storage is not economical because of the high power costs.
The price fluctuation during the year
The harvest season of the crop. This in combination with the shelf life is an important parameter.
The cooling temperature.

Selection of vegetables
In the image below the 6 most cultivated vegetables of Gujarat are displayed. The little squares in the left beneath corner show the maximum shelf life when the crop is stored in a cold storage. In the thermometer the best cooling temperature is displayed for each crop. In the beams on the right of every vegetable, the total annual production in metric TON (1000kg) of Gujarat is indicated.

The Shelf life, temperature and production

can-cold-storage-rooms-add-value-sinhboard-magnesium-oxide-boards-blogpicture-vegetables

  1. Onion – 2. Potato – Cabbage –  4. Tomato –  5. Brinjal (eggplant)-  6. Okra

The most cultivated crop in Gujarat is Potato with more than 2294 Tons in 2014. Onion has the longest extendable shelf life and Brinjal requires the highest cooling temperature.

These can deliver better revenues for Farmers. Cabbage has a really long shelf life so it is appropriate for cold storage. The shelf life of tomato can be extended with a month during cold storage. Cabbage is a second possibility.

Selection of fruits
For the selection we focused on the 11 most cultivated fruits in Gujarat. Cashew nut is also mentioned in the statistics notwithstanding it is not considerate as a fruit.

can-cold-storage-rooms-add-value-sinhboard-magnesium-oxide-boards-blogpicture-fruits

  1. Datepalm – 2. Coconut – 3. Custard apple – 4. Pomegranate –  5. Guava –  6. Papaya –  7. Mango –  8. Lemon – 9 lime –  10. Banana – 11. Chiku – 12. Aonla(indian gooseberry) – 13. Cashew nut

Maximizing Farmer revenue show citrus and pomegranate are most suitable to be used for cold storage. Compared to the other fruits they also have higher shelf life.

Conclusion do Cold Storage rooms add Value?

1. Reduce Fruit en vegetable losses in India
Gujarat, belonging to the top 10 horticulture producing states in India, loses almost Rs 11,400 crore worth of fruits and vegetables after harvest every year due to lack of proper storage facilities. That is more than 1,7 billon euros. (Newsservice, 2013).
The losses experienced by for example Tomato Farmers are caused by damages, sorting, pests and diseases. In the field study our company has conducted, it turned out that only 1-2% of the losses at the farmer’s site are caused by over-ripening.
Farmers bring their crops sometimes directly to the collection centers, bigger farmers bring it for them or they sell it directly to supermarkets or CPC in big cities. Trucks are used to transport the crops. The trucks are not refrigerated and have in general an open trunk. This trunk will be covered with jute to protect the crates or boxes filled with fruits or vegetables.

Losses caused by bad handling during sorting are evident. To reduce these losses cold storages and cold transport should be added to the value chain.

2. Add cold storage capacity and start with Tomato, Pomegranate and Citrus

3. Get better prices for farmers
On an average basis the farmer is only able to receive 1/4th to 1/3rd of the final retail prices. During low season, when end-consumer prices are high, the farmers do not get higher returns on their products.
Farmers can start influencing daily market prices into their benefit when they influence timing of selling and quantities of selling.

Cold storage units are essential for this!

Make in India: Cold Storage Rooms | part two

In the previous article, insights were give about material use and insulation capabilities to build adequate cold storage rooms.

In the concept of cold storage pre-cooling is essential. Pre-cooling helps to maximize results for both earning capabilities of Farmers and costs. In the current article I want to share some ideas about how to furnish the cold storage room itself. Furnishing well will influence the extension of the ripening period of a crop positively. The most important suggestions to take into account are listed below:

Use of crates

For the storage of the crops it is recommended to use well ventilated pallets, crates, boxes or bins.

cold-storage-magnesium-oxide-boards-india-europe-research-prefab-use-crates_air-300x141
Movement of air through the Cold Room

Why? It is important that the cold moving air can easily go through to remove the heat coming from the products. For best result the crates should be stacked so that the moving air can contact all the container surfaces for adequate and rapid cooling. Ventilated crates can be used as they speed-up the cooling rate. The cool air should be divided equally over all crates that are placed.

Location of crates

The storage crates must be stacked to form air-channels which are 4 to 6 inches wide (10 to 15 cm) to help direct the air movement. There should also be space between the product and walls to allow refrigerated air to absorb the heat of conduction through the walls. In the figure below an overview is given of how the crates should be placed in the IGLOO design. A passageway is created in between the crates. This location set up will result in a better air circulation and the crates can easily be replaced or taken out when crops need to be sold. (Board, 2010)

cold-storage-magnesium-oxide-boards-india-europe-research-prefab-use-crates-two-300x140 cold-storage-magnesium-oxide-boards-india-europe-research-prefab-use-crates-three-300x182 cold-storage-magnesium-oxide-boards-india-europe-research-prefab-use-crates-four-300x226
Overview of the location of the crates

Maximize capacity in the cold room
Different concepts are used the get the most out of the crate positioning capacity. The dimensions of the crate are a given (WxHxL):360x305x542mm. Since the roof height of our SINHBUILD concept is 2440mm, the maximum amount of crates that can be stacked is seven (height of 2135mm). We favor the concept in which three lines of crates are taken into stock. In between the crates a space is created of 10cm to allow refrigerated air to absorb the heat from any direction. On the right two lines of crates are placed on their long side. On the left one line of crates is place on their short side The passage width between the lines of the crates is 668mm which gives the opportunity to move a crate easily through (a crate is 542mm on the long side). The total amount of crates that can be stored is 210.

Shape and dimension of used crates
As mentioned before it is recommended to use ventilated pallets, crates, boxes or bins. Jut or nylon bags are not recommended since these materials won’t ventilate in a proper way. Further exact dimensions are not required because the only requirement is that the storage should be ventilated well.

Storage after harvest
It is recommended to transport all harvested crops to the cold room as rapidly as possible. For fresh crops one hour time loss at the field by a temperature of 35°C between harvest and pre-cooling can reduce quality as much as 20 hours in storage under proper conditions. Delay in pre-cooling or cooling overall results in loss of moisture from the product, causes weight loss and combined with active micro-biological organisms result in deterioration of quality and value loss.

Use of Cold Room Door
The cold room door is the only connection to the outside temperature and is thereby the most important point which should be taken into account considering cold air loss. The loading rate is another factor referring to the amount of use of the door. The higher the loading rate, the more energy loss or cold air loss is created. Generally the refrigeration system capacity is based upon 4% to 5% loading rates of the total cold store capacity. The loading pattern is also a design consideration for sizing the storage chamber capacity for optimal utilization and performance. It is therefore recommended to store all crops only once a day (as little as possible). The frequency of entry is then reduced to its minimum. Additionally it is recommended to store the crops in the morning or in the evening since the outside temperatures are relatively lower at these times. In Gujarat at noon the outside temperature is at its highest point which will result in a bigger delta T (temperature difference) between inside and outside and additionally more energy loss. (Board, 2010)

Conclusion

  • A perfect cold storage room needs a pre-cooling area. In the cooling area itself crates are used. Most important feature of crates is the support of ventilating cold air throughout the cooling unit.
  • The crates should be stored in a way that supports air flow.
  • The crates storage plan should allow maximization of number of crates.
  • The cold room door, and the use of it, is very important as it may ruin the efficiency of your unit.

Cold Storage Rooms: reduces 40% of harvest loss

Withindia Building Solutions has signed a technology deal with the Dutch company RC Panels late 2013. This deal was designed to transfer production technology for sandwich panels and machinery to its Withindia Facilities in Ahmedabad, Gujarat (India).

Thereafter Withindia has set up its production site in Ahmedabad, received the necessary Factory License, installed the production line and joined ‘Make in India’ as of February 2016. Today we produce SINH Panels for the Indian market.

Now you could think: so what?

Well, using sandwich panels in building, will help Farmers and their communities to earn more money. How?

The Indian Government has developed several programmes to support Farmers and Rural communities. An example: in Gujarat a new Initiative has been launched to support every village to build a small cold storage warehouse or cold room. This room is the first step in the logistics chain from harvest to market. In it the temperature is kept between 6C and 12C to protect the crop from rotting.

Currently 30-40% of the harvest is lost, mainly in between the time of harvest and the delivery at the market. Sometimes logistics fail, sometimes the sun does its work or animals ate part of the harvest.

When you know there are 18.500 villages only in Gujarat, then you could see the magnitude of such an Initiative.

Our company completed a study to see how we could support the Initiative of Indian Government. In this article I want to share our findings about basic steps to make cold rooms.

The main building element to realize a cold storage room is a sandwich panel. One of the sandwich panels available in India is SINH™ Panel. This sandwich panel consists of two layers Magnesium Oxide Boards and in between the boards an insulation material (see figure below). The panel can be designed for walling, flooring or roofing.

 

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Example of SINH™ Panel

Using Magnesium Oxide Boards into these panels, gives you benefits of light weight, fast construction, dry construction (saving water) and ease-to-work with.

1. Insulation material

Most common insulation materials currently used in the Gujarat market are Cellular Glass (CG), Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Extruded Polystyrene (XPS), Mineral Wool (MW), Polyisocyanurate (PIR), Polyurethane (PUR) and Kooltherm (bouw, 2015) (Association, 2007)

In the table below you find these insulation materials displayed and compared with each other based on their Lambda value (thermal conductivity value). Notice: the lower the lambda value, the better the material insulates and the less material is needed to realize the same amount of the R-value (Thermal resistance value).

cold-storage-magnesium-oxide-boards-india-europe-research-300x154

cg= cellular glass, EPS= Expanded Polystyrene, XPS= Extruded Polystyrene, MW=-Mineral Wool, PUR= Polyurethane

It can be concluded that Kooltherm is the best material with the lowest thermal conductivity and thus the best R-value. PIR and PUR insulation can be considered as the same. PIR is only a better version of PUR in certain aspects. PIR has a slightly better insulation value and is more fire resistant. The same goes for EPS and XPS looking at its insulation value. Mineral Wool is too soft to apply into the SINH-Panels.

2. Thickness of the panel

Material thickness also contributes to Thermal Resistance. Thermal Resistance is a measurement of how the Panel resists Heat Flow. Thermal resistance is measured by the R-value. You could use the Cold Storage Calculator from the company Alfa Laval to make calculations of the cooling (http://cold-room-calculator.soft112.com/)The calculator takes the following main parameters into account: room temperature inside, outside temperature, dimensions of the cold storage room, amount of storage and entering temperature of the crops.

Below a table is shown with the required capacities for de cool system that should be implemented. Also insulation capacity losses are shown between different wall thicknesses. Using this information could give you an approach of the material thickness you should consider.

cold-storage-magnesium-oxide-boards-india-europe-research-lambda-insulation-300x152

The table above shows that EPS has a lambda value of 0.036 W/mK. Therefore, the wall thickness, using EPS insulation should be 150mm for the wall (external use), 150mm for the ceiling/roof and 125mm for the floor.
Using PUR, the thickness should be considered 100mm thickness for the wall (external use), 100mm ceiling/roof and 100 for the floor.

The recommended thicknesses mentioned above are based on a cold storage temperature in the range of -4 to 2 degrees inside. All other major parameters that were used in the previously mentioned calculator are not taken into account in this table above.

Bungalow Park Vapi, India

For the construction of a new Project Bungalow Park in the state of Gujarat, SINH Building Solutions teamed up with Avadh.

projecten_project_bungalow_park_vapi_india_underlayment_sinh_board_mgo

A company that has implemented groundbreaking projects in Amreli, Surat, Bardoli, Navsari and Ahmedabad. Avadh has a strong reputation for pioneering innovative building solutions in the design of lifestyle projects, and its quest for innovation led to the sourcing of SINH™ board for roofing underlayment for this project.

Avadh’s choice of SINH™ board was based mainly on the fact that SINH™ board is strong and lightweight, making it possible to reduce the load on the rooftop structure. This generated significant cost savings in the steel roof construction, as well as for transport and labour costs.

projecten_project_bungalow_park_vapi_india_underlayment_sinh_board_mgo_roof

Other compelling arguments for using SINH™ board were that SINH™ board is fire- and water-resistant, highly durable and can serve as an excellent insulation layer for both hot and cold. All these properties enabled Avadh to comply with the most stringent of health and safety requirements in this project.

projecten_project_bungalow_park_vapi_india_SINH_board_roofing_underlayment_MgO

The fact that SINH Building Solutions is a stock-holding company in SINH™ magnesium oxide boards, offering great technical service and timely on-site delivery, sealed the partnership. The end result was excellent collaboration and the realisation of yet another innovative building project for Avadh.

If you have any questions according our projects or if you need more information about how to apply MgO boards for roofing underlayment, please contact us through the contact form below.