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A Marketable Product for Our Volcanic Ash

by Bennette Roach

Soufriere Hills volcano ash may turn out to be a big money earner for Montserrat.

L to R Hon David Brandt, Ken Boyea and Valdo Morant

This will be so if the company Thermoflex which Mr. Valdo Morant represents, can find joint venture partners here to market the new product of mixing ash and cement 50 – 50 to make building slabs and blocks.

“It doesn’t require sand which we have used successfully before,” Mr Ken Boyea commented. “It is made from volcanic ash with cement, steam and a formula,” that was used in the experiment using an ordinary house blender in the Chief Minister’s office on Tuesday this week.

Mr. Ken Boyea who said he became involved by taking over the patent for the Eastern Caribbean islands when it was done using cement 50-50, sees this as a more than perfect and successful solution for the sand mining which plagues and is a serious threat to the environment of some Caribbean islands. less than 1 % of the secret

What is new is that, “It is 50% cement and 50% ash, plus a less than 1 per cent formula nix which acts like a yeast formula making the end product expand into a light weight block.”

Speaking to the local press, Mr. Morant said: “If we can come to Montserrat and set up a factory you would be able to cut your cement cost.”

Both Mr. Morant and Mr. Boyea, the latter well known to Montserrat, explained: “When we did it with pure cement it worked out that it cost about the same as a normal block on the ground – the advantage with this system in place, you are now dealing with a light weight 8’x4′ slab which means you can put a house up much quicker and cheaper.

In some places we are putting up one of these units every day. Although the cement block would be same as you use traditionally.

Previously about 70% of the cost was cement now you can cut that cost by using the volcanic ash which is not exactly free because you have to go and get it and store it. But it shows great possibility. The end product gets hard in about five to eight hours.

The two gentlemen said that the slab keeps out heat and needs little plastering because of the natural finish, pointing out that it is so light it makes good roof material, and if used on a roof, there is no heat transfer.

“It works well in hot countries and you can put your electric conduit inside of the block, so that it is a low cost. It would cut down the time of building. It can be reinforced just like ordinary concrete, the total weight will be much less and therefore better in earthquake. Plastering is less than normal.”

Mr. Morant who has patented this formula, said he came here to present the product, but said: “We are looking for a joint venture here to produce the blocks for national consumption and also for export to the neighbouring islands.

He said that the product has been tried in many countries. “We have used fly ash in the US and other volcanic ash. The ash does not need any treatment,” he said, explaining that it is the sulphur content in the ash that makes it so useful to the formula.

Morant, originally from Cuba but based in the US, used an ordinary household blender and mixed a very small portion of equal amount of cement and ash, added his potion, with water of course, and poured them into two cups. In a short while within the hour, the mixture had doubled in size in the cups, with a smooth finished appearance.

“It will turn into a pale gray when the water is gone and it has hardened, and you can colour it you wish,” he finally explained.

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by Bennette Roach

Soufriere Hills volcano ash may turn out to be a big money earner for Montserrat.

L to R Hon David Brandt, Ken Boyea and Valdo Morant

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This will be so if the company Thermoflex which Mr. Valdo Morant represents, can find joint venture partners here to market the new product of mixing ash and cement 50 – 50 to make building slabs and blocks.

“It doesn’t require sand which we have used successfully before,” Mr Ken Boyea commented. “It is made from volcanic ash with cement, steam and a formula,” that was used in the experiment using an ordinary house blender in the Chief Minister’s office on Tuesday this week.

Mr. Ken Boyea who said he became involved by taking over the patent for the Eastern Caribbean islands when it was done using cement 50-50, sees this as a more than perfect and successful solution for the sand mining which plagues and is a serious threat to the environment of some Caribbean islands. less than 1 % of the secret

What is new is that, “It is 50% cement and 50% ash, plus a less than 1 per cent formula nix which acts like a yeast formula making the end product expand into a light weight block.”

Speaking to the local press, Mr. Morant said: “If we can come to Montserrat and set up a factory you would be able to cut your cement cost.”

Both Mr. Morant and Mr. Boyea, the latter well known to Montserrat, explained: “When we did it with pure cement it worked out that it cost about the same as a normal block on the ground – the advantage with this system in place, you are now dealing with a light weight 8’x4′ slab which means you can put a house up much quicker and cheaper.

In some places we are putting up one of these units every day. Although the cement block would be same as you use traditionally.

Previously about 70% of the cost was cement now you can cut that cost by using the volcanic ash which is not exactly free because you have to go and get it and store it. But it shows great possibility. The end product gets hard in about five to eight hours.

The two gentlemen said that the slab keeps out heat and needs little plastering because of the natural finish, pointing out that it is so light it makes good roof material, and if used on a roof, there is no heat transfer.

“It works well in hot countries and you can put your electric conduit inside of the block, so that it is a low cost. It would cut down the time of building. It can be reinforced just like ordinary concrete, the total weight will be much less and therefore better in earthquake. Plastering is less than normal.”

Mr. Morant who has patented this formula, said he came here to present the product, but said: “We are looking for a joint venture here to produce the blocks for national consumption and also for export to the neighbouring islands.

He said that the product has been tried in many countries. “We have used fly ash in the US and other volcanic ash. The ash does not need any treatment,” he said, explaining that it is the sulphur content in the ash that makes it so useful to the formula.

Morant, originally from Cuba but based in the US, used an ordinary household blender and mixed a very small portion of equal amount of cement and ash, added his potion, with water of course, and poured them into two cups. In a short while within the hour, the mixture had doubled in size in the cups, with a smooth finished appearance.

“It will turn into a pale gray when the water is gone and it has hardened, and you can colour it you wish,” he finally explained.