The PU foam ... new product.

Anchor Allied, the manufacturer of Asmaco brand of silicone sealants, has begun manufacturing polyurethane foam at its plant in Sharjah.

Anchor Allied Factory Limited says it has become the only company in the Middle East to produce polyurethane foam.

The UAE-based company makes Asmaco, a leading international brand of silicone sealants and pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes.

Anchor says it began producing the polyurethane foam at its newly set-up unit in Sharjah. The unit produces "high quality multipurpose single-component polyurethane foam in small and big aerosol cans," a company spokesman says. "The foam, which has excellent thermal and acoustic isolation properties, is CFC-(chlorofluorocarbons) and HFC-(hydrochlorofluorocarbons) free and is widely used by the air-conditioning and furniture industries for insulating, soundproofing, filling, caulking and fixing of door and window frames.

"One of the major advantage of producing these materials locally is the ability to formulate the product and also ensure that we are able to meet the demand of fast-track projects in the local construction industry," says company director Ahmed Ali Nalwala.

The company says its Asmaco products have been used successfully in the Middle East for more than a decade. Anchor says it also offers quality material and technical support for its product application.

It says it has recently doubled its production capacity of silicone sealants to meet the growing demand in the market.

Anchor's plant and offices are spread over 12,000 sq m in the Sharjah Industrial area.

The company started off with manufacturing acetoxy silicone sealants in 1999 followed by its 'sealants in action' Asmaco line of duct, acrylic and RTV silicone sealants.

The company says its neutral cure silicone sealants and polysulphide sealants for sealing insulating glass units offer excellent support adhesion and optimal elastic modulus. These products have been well received by the local aluminium and glass industry.

"The polysulphide sealant provides potlife adjusted tropical conditions to prevent wastages and does not deteriorate when immersed in water. It is also fuel and chemical resistant, says Nalwala.

RTV silicone sealants, a high-temperature sealant, provides a substitute to cut gaskets and takes any shape, providing fast curing, resistance to cracks, shrinkages and migration due to thermal rotation. Effective in sealing of timing chain covers and differential covers, it is flexible but can dry hard while withstanding up to 300 deg C temperatures. The product is resistant to oil, water and transmission fluid.

Highlighting some of its other products, Nalwala says duct sealant Asmacryl 52 has received a good response from the market in its initial launch phase while Asmacryl 47 acrylic sealant for sealing inner or external joints on porous surfaces such as concrete, plaster, asbestos, cement and wood has been used widely in the UAE and the other GCC countries.

Nalwala says the sealant market has undergone a change with customers having a choice of a wide range of products in different colours. Demand for sealants in the Middle East has increased 10-12 per cent between 1999 and March 2002 in line with growth worldwide, he says.

"Anchor Allied's growth has kept pace with the rising demand and from fairly humble beginnings with one production unit in 1995, Asmaco products today have found their place in east Europe, South America, Africa, Middle East, India, Russia, CIS and the Far East.

"In parallel with the production of sealants, the company has been producing epoxy steel and contact adhesive for industrial and domestic uses.

"Epoxy steel is a two-part component (resin and hardener). It has a specially-formulated bonding compound and offers the best alternative to welding, providing bonding in just four minutes of application.

"It has a proven strength of more than 3000 psi after 16 hours and is resistant to gasoline, anti-freeze and almost every solvent. It is mainly used in broken bicycles, gasoline tanks, ceramics, cracked battery cases and some plastics," Nalwala says.

Asmaco contact adhesive is a high-performance product used mainly by the furniture and carpet industries.

Anchor Allied says that with wide differences in demand in various part of the world, Asmaco has introduced special products to meet each area's specific needs. "With its knowledge and expertise in the field of pressure-sensitive adhesive, the company is confident that the addition of new items to its product line will give the opportunity to enter new markets where quality is required for a wide range of construction works," says Anchor Allied group president Hussain Nalwala.

He says Anchor's research and development division is constantly striving for new technologies in raw material and process method to provide advantage to traders and end-users.

A well qualified team of marketing and technical personnel are at the disposal of clients and consulatnts to advise and recommed solution to virtually any problems related to adhesive tapes and sealants. The company has a online e-mail facility for this purpose on its website: