The Ethiopian Construction Project Management Institute (ECPMI), in collaboration with the German-based company BASF Polyurethanes GmbH, introduced new chemical engineering inputs that give extra strength to concrete mixtures of the city tram project. The chemical additives were displayed to participants from several affiliated organizations on Tuesday, October 6 at a demonstration workshop held at Capital Hotel.

The institute, which is responsible for introducing new technologies and undertaking studies on the construction industry, introduced the chemical technologies that will strengthen railway infrastructure.

ECPMI Chief Yosef Birru (PhD) told Capital that the technology is commonly used on construction works in the developed world, but its application is a significant breakthrough here. “We need to apply it on our work, it has various benefits,” he said.

The product, Elastotrack, is a liquid chemical composition applied on gravel layers of railway lines. When applied to ballast stones, the two-component polyurethane chemical prevents the gravel from sliding away under the strong dynamic force of passing trains. BASF disclosed that the product contributes to reduce maintenance costs, by reducing the potential of derailment, and it improves environmental performance, and promotes a quieter and more comfortable ride for passengers.

“It is good for the durability of the line and it is environmental friendly, minimizing the dust, while saving on maintenance costs,” Dr Yosef explained.

Yosef said that ECPMI did researches on the technology for six months. Coming up with satisfactory results, the institute decided to start using Elastotrack on railway projects the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) monitors.
The product has been tested on some locations on the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit. Yosef said that BASF Polyurethanes GmbH has the interest to establish a production facility in Ethiopia, if use of the chemical technology becomes widely applicable as modern railway systems expand throughout Ethiopia.

Source: Capital Ethiopia
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