A company making glass reinforced fibreglass products in Dubai counts high-profile clients won over by the strength and longevity of its solutions.
Pultron Composites UAE’s key products are MateenBar and GFRP (glass fibre reinforced polymer) items which were earlier shipped by the mother company in New Zealand. The local operation has been manufacturing since 2009 at a state-of-the-art pultrusion facility in Dubai’s Jebel Ali area that operates round the clock.
“We have recently supplied some high-profile customers, for example the Emal and Qatalum Aluminium smelters as well as the Lusail Expressway in Qatar and major infrastructure developments such as Jubail in Saudi Arabia,” says Rob Fordyce, general manager.
“We have been exporting to the Gulf since 2003; our products are normally sold directly to contractors or to other manufacturers. Our MateenBar product has been very successful with over 70 projects delivered in the GCC and over 150 worldwide,” said Fordyce.
MateenBar (from Mateen, the Arabic for durable and strong), offers a superior product that fills a need for durable and long-life structures. The company says MateenBar is ideal for engineers working in environments with demands beyond the ability of traditional steel reinforcement. It is manufactured from a proven epoxy background resin system for maximised corrosive resistance and increased interlaminar strength. To ensure immunity to alkalines, carefully selected glass types are used.
Pultron Composites has a history of striving to gain technological advancement. In 1985 it worked with DuPont, Australia to develop a reinforcement system that addressed the shortfalls of steel and in 1990 it worked in conjunction with BHP to develop a world-first technology combining pultrusion and extrusion. The resulting product was a reinforcement system to stabilise high movement rock and coal seams, dramatically improving mine safety in difficult geotechnical conditions.
Since then Pultron Composites has worked with various companies, developing FRP reinforcement specific to their requirements. Ongoing R&D projects ensure that Pultron is at the leading edge of technology.
“The corrosive nature of the GCC region, and realisation from the leaders of the need for long-term infrastructure is slowly driving thinking towards long-term cost of ownership of structures rather than just the cheapest up front cost. Using in-house developed manufacturing technology allows us to provide a high-quality product with low overheads and the ability to react quickly to market requirements. The ability to provide local technical expertise and to meet face to face with customers and consultants, and our investment in the economy through our manufacturing base gives us a unique position,” says Fordyce.
Pultron Composites UAE’s largest markets are Saudi Arabia and Qatar, followed by the UAE and Oman. The company also exports to Australia, North America and Europe from Dubai.
The company aims for recognition as the local expert in GFRP rods. The company has introduced innovating solutions to customers and plans to continue investing in expanding manufacturing capacity. Investments are also being ploughed into dedicated sales and marketing resources and finding long-term credible business partners and channels outside the UAE.
While sales have improved steadily, the challenge is that engineers commonly lack knowledge of GFRP rebar.
An important advantage for Pultron Composites’ is that its offerings are best suited for the Gulf’s climate. Fordyce notes that the region is one of the extreme environments for corrosion but it is also where high investments are being injected into infrastructure projects. “Our product mix makes sense as MateenBar is fully non-corrosive and can economically substitute for traditional steel and stainless steel reinforcement. The major investment in transportation projects, in particular metro tunnels, is also a strong market for MateenBar due to its use alongside TBM-driven tunnel structures. The Gulf region has a high number of aluminium smelters either under development or being upgraded. These developments also benefit from the non-electrically conductive nature of MateenBar,” Fordyce observes.
Pultron Composites has a large engineering and materials science expertise and is constantly working with customers to develop unique GFRP solutions.
Parent company Pultron Composites Ltd is a privately owned manufacturing company which began developing its own pultrusion technology as well as designing and building pultrusion machines in 1982. Founded by Peter and Bronwen Holdsworth, Pultron’s head office and purpose built modern factory in Gisborne, New Zealand, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company has continued to expand and has an office in Dubai.
“From the outset, Pultron quickly broadened its product range to take advantage of growing demand from material scientists and engineers for composite structural profiles for specialist applications. Pultron’s ability to develop state-of-the-art composite solutions is achieved through significant investment in research and development of new technologies and materials,” a company statement says.
Pultron accords high priority to product development and ensures a high degree of customer service is maintained throughout every stage of the product life cycle – from design through to manufacturing. Together with its Composite Materials Research (CMR) laboratory, the company has the knowledge and expertise to create the best possible composite solutions from a wide range of industries.
“Pultron has become one of the world’s most innovative and technically advanced pultrusion companies with international, competitive advantage through unique pultrusion capabilities. Pultron has international industry contacts and is export focused. It has won numerous quality and export awards and is certified to ISO 9001:2000 International Quality Standard,” the statement said.