O'Hara business distributing earth-friendly sealant
Imagine a Pittsburgh spring without pot holes.
Jim Campbell, of O'Hara's design and construction firm PWCampbell, says it would be possible with a new product called Ecodur 201. His Atlantic Technologies Group has partnered with the manufacturer, Castagra Products, to distribute the sustainable sealant along the east coast.
Made primarily of gypsum and natural castor plant oils, the coating provides a self-polymerizing system that lasts longer and costs less than urethane products, says Campbell, whose grandfather founded the RIDC Park-based construction firm in 1910.
“It's made from one of the most plentiful products on earth,” Campbell says of the gypsum, which is extracted from natural deposits, recycled drywall or by-products of the coal-fired power industry. “It is 100 percent renewable.”
Invented in the 1990s, Ecodur 201 was first used heavily on Canadian ferry boat decks because it could withstand below-freezing temperatures. It is able to expand and contract rather than crack and break; Ecodur 201 can be applied in temperatures as low as 0 degrees.
But a manual application kept the product cost-prohibitive until a spray technology advanced its accessibility.
PW Campbell is responsible for design and construction of financial institutions in 13 states from New York to Illinois. Local examples of their work are the First Commonwealth banks throughout the Lower Valley.
Campbell said he was drawn to the new business venture because of the commitment to eco-friendliness and sustainability.
“This stuff is so safe you can eat it. It can be put on a rubber roof and extend the life 10 years rather than doing it with tar,” he said.
Campbell said the non-toxic product is gaining steam as an interior liner for oil tanks because it lasts longer and adheres better than epoxy.
He sees potential uses in transportation, drilling and fracking, flooring, roofing, insulation, aeronautics and commercial construction.
“It could be used to coat and prevent corrosion and repair concrete parking decks, bridges, roads, roofs and potholes,” he said. “This product sets so quickly that you wouldn't have to close roads for long stretches to fix the potholes. You'd spray it and it would set. There's no downside to this.”
His only obstacle so far is getting people to try something new, Campbell said.
“It sounds too good to be true, I know. But I think you'll be seeing it in a lot of uses in the future.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Aspinwall seeks to solve Center Avenue traffic issues
- Officials in Aspinwall take steps to improve borough sign shortage
- St. Scholastica’s campers find helping others rewarding experience
- Shady Side Academy day camp draws from throughout region
- Sharpsburg firefighters seek update list of office building tenants