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Alice Poltorick
Grace Construction Products

  Sharon Rousseau
Seamonds & Co.

Company Announces New Focus on Rapidly Growing Segment

CAMBRIDGE, MA, April 14, 2000 -- Grace Construction Products, a worldwide leader in products for the construction industry, announced today the formation of a new organization within its Masonry Products group dedicated to supporting the rapidly growing interlocking concrete paver segment.

"Grace is bringing its technical expertise and R&D focus to the paver industry. The combination of innovative products, sophisticated research and development, and technical service and support enables us to deliver added value that is unprecedented in the industry," says Jeremy P.M. Gray, General Manager of Grace's Masonry Products Group.

The paver segment is one of the fastest growing areas in concrete masonry according to industry sources such as the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) and the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA).

The new unit will be staffed by three paver sales specialists, one technical service field specialist and a technical services lab specialist based in Grace's Cambridge, Massachusetts, state-of-the-art cement, concrete and masonry Research & Development Laboratory. In addition, Randy Welch has been named sales manager for the North American paver sales team.

The announcement follows the recent introduction of two new products designed to improve the quality and appearance of pavers: QUANTEC™, color enhancing admixture and DECAPAVE® ULTRA™ for higher strengths. Both products were previewed at this year's Masonry Expo, held in January in Las Vegas.

QUANTEC admixture has been found to markedly enhance the brightness of color in pavers when compared with traditional admixtures. In addition, unlike current efflorescence control technologies that function by simply restricting the movement of water and salts in the concrete unit, QUANTEC admixture chemically reacts with the hydrating cement to keep efflorescence from blooming. QUANTEC admixture has a neutral effect on concrete properties such as compressive strength and freeze/thaw durability, and is compatible with most other concrete admixtures.

DECAPAVE ULTRA can be used to increase the compressive strength of the paver, thereby creating the opportunity for cement and pigment reductions during production.

Grace's paver line features additional products that can be used to improve plasticity, control efflorescence, reduce absorption, improve durability, enhance color or increase throughput, thus improving production and reducing costs. Other paver admixtures include:

  • TERAPAVE™ 200, a new efflorescence control admixture designed specifically for concrete pavers that provides for increased strength and lower absorption.
  • DECAPAVE™ PVR™, an efflorescence control admixture that improves unit densities, lowers absorption and provides good machinability.
  • TRYSTA™ freeze/thaw admixture that enhances durability of units exposed to freeze/thaw cycling.
"Grace Masonry Products has leveraged the company's broad knowledge base in cement chemistry, concrete admixtures and low slump concrete technology, to create a comprehensive line of admixtures that focuses on improving the paver's appearance or on reducing the producer's manufacturing costs," says Barbara Planinsek, Worldwide Marketing Manager for Masonry Products.

Grace's enhanced support includes providing analytical and testing services for its customers. Grace also has the capability to simulate plant-produced pavers utilizing laboratory equipment at its R&D facility in Cambridge. This enables Grace to evaluate admixture performance using a producer's raw materials or to optimize a producer's mix design in the lab. In addition, computer designed experiments and modeling using Grace's expertise with the E-Chip program can be used to provide guidance for plant admixture/cement optimization.

Grace Construction Products, a business unit of W.R. Grace & Co., (NYSE: GRA), is a leading manufacturer worldwide of concrete admixtures, cement processing additives, fire protection and waterproofing products and masonry products, with more than 125 plants and sales offices around the world.

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