What are DCS’s forms made from?
A Revolutionary formulated, rigid modified PVC polymer is used to achieve superior fire properties.
What distinguishes the rigid PVC formulation that DCS uses?
Common PVC can be rigid or soft. Plasticisers are added to make soft PVC (cables, blood bags, toys, etc.). Rigid PVC does not contain any plasticisers.
Concerns are raised over the usage of common rigid PVC because it contains plasticisers and heavy metal stabilisers during the manufacturing process. However, DCS does not use plasticisers or heavy metal stabilisers but rather organic stabilisers.
DCS offers better fire and smoke properties in comparison to common rigid PVC.
Is DCS recyclable?
All manufacturing waste, including extrusion rejects, off-cuts or cored web holes are currently recycled 100% by DCS’s superior manufacturing technology.
DCS provides any custom length between profile lengths of 1,800mm and 7,950mm which significantly minimises the need for cutting and creating construction site wastage. The inbuilt service spacers eliminate wall chasings for power, communication cables and water reticulation pipes which further minimises construction site wastage. If any further construction site wastage is created for any reason, DCS offers re-possession of its own uncontaminated product for its own recycling. The Dincel material is specially formulated and does not consist of heavy metal stabilisers and plasticisers, and as a result Dincel can only re-possess its own production. The construction site wastage generated during installation prior to concreting creates uncontaminated readily useable material for DCS. Alternatively, any of the Dincel product mix that cannot be re-processed, the waste can be sent to third parties for recycling which can be used by the pipe industry as per current practice.
End Of Life
Dincel offers 100 years life to concrete walls. (Download) FAQ Answer No: 6 – Life/Sustainability. Dincel’s innovation allows the majority of walls to use unreinforced or vertical steel bars only without horizontal bars (as certified by the University of New South Wales). This allows the recycling of vertical steel bars, concrete infill and Dincel’s polymer formwork at the end of building life by simply crushing the Dincel Wall. The absence of steel bars in the secondary direction allows easy separation of steel bars from the concrete infill.
Does DCS satisfy the fire requirements of building codes?
Yes. (Download – Building Code of Australia Compliance)
The fire requirements of buildings are satisfied by the conventional concrete infill. The CSIRO – Australia has tested and confirmed that the polymer skin of DCS is a Group 1 material (i.e. no limitation for its use in any fire case) and has 2.5 times better smoke index performance than is required in the Building Code of Australia.
What advantages does DCS offer with respect to alternative building materials for full life cycle assessments?
Contractors, building owners, and maintenance managers have long recognised PVC’s durability. PVC systems are not subject to the corrosive influences of aggressive water or chemicals. This durability is seen as an advantage in light of today’s focus on life cycle assessments.
This long, maintenance-free service life is now recognised by a recently released study of environmental life-cycle analyses (LCAs) of vinyl (i.e. common PVC). The study conducted for the European Commission is based on a review of more than 200 LCAs with a focus on about 30 LCA’s that met ISO standards and compared products on an application basis.
The European Commission (EC) conducting this study found that vinyl can offer environmental benefits equal to or better than those of other materials in many applications. As a result the study challenges material de-selection policies by pointing out that the performance of a product using a durable, lasting material can outweigh concerns about the production of the material.
The assumption is that life cycle analyses should be based on application rather than material levels, since the life-cycle impacts of a material will vary according to the products in which the material is used. This is especially true with PVC pipe and fittings, since many PVC piping materials are still in use more than 50 years after their installation, out-lasting their metallic counterparts by many years.
Lower embodied energy of the PVC-Concrete polymer matrix system places a lower demand on our non-renewable resources, requiring less energy inputs and produces less carbon dioxide emission.
What will be the life expectancy of Dincel-wall?
The life of DCS can be adopted for 100 years as the Dincel-Polymer encapsulation to the concrete infill will not dissolve within 100 years time.
The following is an explanation why 100 years of life can be adopted when DCS is used;
The best studied and experienced product is rigid PVC pipe. The life expectancy of buried pipe is expected to have more than 100 plus years under pressure. When pipes are buried under ground, no chemical degradation is expected to take place. For this reason, the durability of PVC material in buried pipes is expected to be very long (may be even more than 1000 years, Ref: Janson, Lars Eric 1996 “Plastic pipes – how long they can last?” KP Council November 1996).
Studies show that plastics undergo a change in morphology with time, independent of exposure conditions, such that the “free volume” in the matrix reduces with an increasing number of cross-links between molecules. This results in changes in mechanical properties consisting: increase in tensile strength, yield stress and moduli. In general, these changes appear to be beneficial. However, the response of the material at high stress levels is altered in that local yielding at stress concentrators is inhibited, and strain capability of the article is decreased (e.g. pressure pipes). A brittle type of fracture is more likely to occur and a general reduction in impact resistance may be observed.
Real experience in Germany has shown that buried PVC pressure pipes dug up after 60 years of active use were proven to be fit for purpose when analysed and likely to have a further life expectancy of 50 years. (Reference 60 Jahre Erfahrungen mit Rohrleitungen aus Weichmachfreiem PVC, 1995, KRV).
Studies in the Netherlands have examined several potential degradation processes for PVC pipes and carried out tests on pipes up to 45 years old. These studies also concluded that the life of PVC drinking water systems could exceed 100 years. (Reference ‘Long Term Performance of Existing PVC Water Distribution Systems’ by A. Boersma and J Breen, 9th International PVC Conference, Brighton, 26-28th April 2005, pp 307-305).
The website http://matse1.matse.illinois.edu/
concrete/concrete.doc confirms that concrete life span is 50,000 years under perfect conditions. This statement is particularly relevant to concrete within Dincel-Wall which is protected against reinforcing steel corrosion and against chemical attacks to the concrete itself, including atmospheric, ground water, acidic and salt attacks.
Dincel-Walls do not incorporate horizontal reinforcement across the adjacent module joints. Therefore, corrosion of the vertical bars in the absence of horizontal bars of Dincel-Wall is not a possibility provided adequate measures are taken for corrosion protection of vertical bars at the wall-floor junctions.
Rigid PVC offers good resistance to acids, alkaline, oils, many corrosive inorganic chemicals, oxygen, ozone, water, alcohol, aliphatic hydrocarbons and detergent solutions. However, rigid PVC is attacked by ketones; some grades are swollen or attacked by chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, esters, some aromatic ethers and amines and nitro-compounds. The chemicals that can attack PVC are normally man-made; the ones available in nature below 20°C in temperature are not in concentrations to affect rigid PVC. This qualifies rigid PVC under normal environmental conditions as an environmentally indestructible polymer.
It is known that brittle fracture of the PVC pipes can occur because of stress concentrations such as high water pressure within pipes or local impact. Pipe is an empty shell carrying high pressure water. Therefore, the abovementioned fracture due to the brittleness of the material would not be relevant if the same pipe profile is filled with concrete to absorb stress concentrations such as local impact as in the case of Dincel-Wall.
It is an obvious fact from the testings performed by the industry that the life of PVC pipes is a minimum of 100 years because they are subjected to cyclic water pressure loading as aged material can crack due to brittleness. However, this does not mean that the material itself will degrade or dissolve. The cracked pipe will remain in position without degradation for hundreds of years. The analogy for Dincel-Wall is no different than the above. Dincel-Wall is not subjected to cyclic loadings such as water pipes, hence in time the brittleness, if any, is not an issue since polymer material will not dissolve within 100 years as stated by Jansen, Lars Eric 1996.
Dincel-Wall performance including resistance to chemicals and a unique crack inducing mechanism eliminating the use of horizontal reinforcement, hence corrosion of steel reinforcement and impact strength to aged polymer provided by concrete infill offers a very long life to Dincel-Wall. Dincel-Wall, consisting of concrete infill and a protective permanent polymer encapsulation, offers perfect protection to reinforced concrete walls. Basement walls or above ground building walls can then be said conservatively to have a life span in excess of 100 years (not 50,000 years, not 1,000 years as mentioned above).
Do PVC materials fit into the LEED rating system?
Yes. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system is one of the most popular rating systems for “green” building in use today. The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) PVC Task Group issued a draft report on the 26 February 2007 finding that the environmental and health impacts of vinyl used in building products are comparable to those of competing materials.
The USGBC Task Group studied vinyl and some of the competing principal building materials for almost two years before recommending against a credit for excluding vinyl in the LEED rating system. The Task Group found that “the available evidence does not support a conclusion that PVC is consistently worse than alternative materials on a life cycle environmental and health basis.” Neither vinyl nor any competing materials deserve to be eliminated based on the current body of knowledge, according to the Task Group.
NOTE: The Task Group concluded that VINYL (i.e. PVC containing plasticisers and heavy metals) is comparable to those competing materials. If this is the case DCS polymer which is free of heavy metal stabilisers and plasticisers CAN BE REGARDED AS PERFORMING MUCH BETTER than common vinyl and those competing materials.
Is there a PVC related environmental concern in Australia?
The Green Building Council of Australia has announced on 15 January 2010 that PVC no longer receives negative but positive credit. This statement covers all PVC pipes, conduits, electrical cables, floor covering which includes rigid and soft PVC.
DCS being plasticiser free and heavy metal stabiliser free represents superior environmental benefits which has a VOC rating tested by CETEC-Australia of 50 times better than the Australian – Green Star rating threshold.
Download – Indoor Air Quality, Condensation, Mould and Mildew for CETEC certificate.
Is there any real or proven concern for the element chlorine within the DCS PVC?
No. Although elemental chlorine at high levels is toxic, it has long been used beneficially at low concentrations. In fact, it is essential to clean water and the elimination of typhus and other water-borne diseases. The chlorine component in PVC is not dangerous because it is chemically bound to the backbone of the polymer and is analogous to the chlorine content of common table salt and many other pharmaceutical medicines based on the chlorine industry.
Patrick Moore has been an environmental scientist for more than 30 years. A founder of Greenpeace and founder and current director of Green Spirit, Moore is now focusing his energies on developing a rational, logical, science-based approach to decisions we make about moving to a more sustainable civilisation and society.
According to Moore, “when you look at PVC and the positive uses it has in our society, chlorinated water in a PVC pipe is about the safest way you can deliver water to the public.”
The chlorine or VCM production in Australia is no longer a concern. This is because the advanced Australian manufacturing technology and the “best performance criteria” are adopted by the industry. As a result, the Green Building Council of Australia has announced on 15th January 2010 that using PVC no longer receives negative credit.
The Dincel polymer material, in addition to the “best performance criteria” does not include any plasticizers or heavy metal stabilisers. This makes Dincel polymer better than the best performance criteria.
What will be the social, economical and environmental benefits and impacts of DCS?
- Significantly reduces building time and cost to offer improved building/housing affordability with increased workplace safety.
- Reduction of total building construction costs between 10% to 15%, contributes to economic and social well being of the country.
- Significantly reduces timber use and manufacture of raw materials thereby reducing energy use, carbon dioxide production, waste generation and maintenance issues.
- The DCS polymer-concrete matrix contains lower embodied energy consumption when compared to alternative construction systems which normally consist of increased quantities of cement and reinforcement usage.
- Significantly increases fire safety and building life span even for very harsh environmental conditions. Total recyclability.
- DCS’s water conservation and management system reduces flood related problems, cost and maintenance of public stormwater infrastructure, protects trees and fauna. Can achieve between 40%, and 90% water self sufficiency and reduce reliance on town water supply, resulting in access to lower cost land, otherwise not available because of water scarcity.
- DCS offers highly cost effective water retaining tanks and silos for grain storage. The life of stored grain can be significantly increased.
Why Dincel can eliminate the need for a breathable wall
WHY DINCEL CAN ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR A BREATHABLE WALL
Besides insulation, there are two things that are required in an external (façade) wall: air tightness and moisture resistance.
Air tight means no big flows of air escaping through the holes leading to heat loss by mass transfer. The air moves out of the building carrying the heat with it. If the building is not air tight, it cannot be considered as energy efficient.
Breathable means that water vapour can diffuse through the wall.
The water vapour occurs from the following sources:
- The internal and external vapour sources after the building’s completion and during the building’s occupancy phase
- Vapour source during construction phase.
The internal water vapour sources after the building’s completion and during the building’s occupancy phase are a result of laundry facilities (washing, drying), cooking facilities and occupants of the building (i.e. vapour generated by breathing). Four people can generate a surprisingly large amount of water vapour per day which is far more than could be transpired through a breathable wall. No breathable wall will have anything like a high enough transpiration rate to remove sufficient moisture from the occupants without condensing in the wall structure. Therefore, mechanical ventilation is required to remove the moisture generated from internal sources, as well as CO2 and other gasses including volatile organic compounds (VOC). So, if the building is not air tight (i.e. leaking), though, enough fresh air leaks in to provide the required ventilation, but a lot of heat leaks out. For an airtight building (which is energy efficient) heat/energy recovery ventilation is not a “nice to have” but a “must have” provision. Outside of heating/cooling seasons, just opening the windows works well too.
The external water vapour source after the building’s completion and during the building’s occupancy phase is the rainwater and moisture available in the outdoor environment. The outer skin of the building should be air tight and conventionally required to be vapour permeable. The reason for this is that all conventional building materials such as brick, block masonry, fibre-cement sheets, timber and even concrete are porous. These porous materials, through their hygroscopic and capillary properties, absorb the moisture from the outdoor environment unless their external surface is covered by membrane systems which are not commonly used because they are expensive and require ongoing maintenance. The majority of commercial paints cannot stop the vapour migration into the wall. In addition to the porous nature of conventional wall materials, they crack and hence often require having joints to minimise the cracking. The penetration of the vapour is therefore unavoidable through the joints, cracks and porous nature of the wall material. As this is the case; what comes into the wall must go out. This is the reason why porous walls are required to be breathable. Otherwise material decay and biological developments (mould, mildew, etc.) will occur. The cavity wall construction is therefore commonly adopted throughout the world in association with porous wall materials to capture the rainwater/moisture within the cavity so the moisture penetration does not extend inside of the façade wall. Naturally cavities must have proper weep and ventilation holes and flashings to let the rainwater and moisture out. The properly ventilated cavity will assist in expelling the moisture absorbed by the external skin.
The water vapour source during construction is usually overlooked, even by many building experts. It is a known fact that most of the condensation related problems occur during the first 12 months of the building’s completion. The main reason for these porous materials during the construction phase is that they have no protection on them to avoid the absorption of rainwater and air humidity. In addition to this, concrete floors and concrete walls consist of 11% water content which takes much more than 12 months to dry. These are the contributing vapour sources during the construction phase. It is clear that all building walls should have Dincel polymer protection at the beginning of the construction phase; otherwise the walls will absorb additional moisture and rainwater in addition to 11% water content that already exists within the concrete walls. The applied membrane systems and commercial paint/render’s life will be questionable if applied on reasonably saturated walls with moisture content in excess of 15%. These applied finishes including membranes are normally placed on the exterior face of façade walls. This will in fact cause a worse problem in single skin walls (especially concrete) without cavity construction since the majority of moisture absorbed in the wall will tend to diffuse at the interior building’s face.
The commercial acrylic paint/render systems are not necessarily permeable; hence the diffusion of water vapour usually results in paint failure. Therefore, all porous walls must have breathable applied finishes for the above explained reasons. For further information refer download – Wall Comparisons especially for concrete walls with permanent formwork having fibre-cement sheets.
The availability of Dincel-Wall changes the abovementioned convention since Dincel-Wall does not allow any moisture or rainwater to penetrate through the wall.
Dincel-Wall offers a completely waterproof, airtight, joint and crack free wall with the inbuilt vapour barrier on both faces simultaneously. (The building codes around the world require a vapour barrier on the warm face of the wall).
Dincel-Wall has been tested by the CSIRO – Australia and confirmed as:
Refer (download – Waterproof Walls)
- Waterproof even at its joints under 6m of head of water pressure.
- Dincel’s polymer vapour transmission rate is 180 times better than the standard threshold for common membrane systems.
and review CSIRO testing and certifications.
Dincel-Wall eliminates the reason for a breathable wall since the internal mechanical and/or natural cross ventilation are mandatory and the porosity, wall crackings and joints are not desirable and most commonly causes problems such as material deterioration, condensation, mould/mildew and sick building syndrome.
Refer to the following Dincel documents for a recommended wall construction for a variety of climate conditions.
Download – Part 2 – Energy Efficiency for Building Operational Use
Download – Indoor Air Quality, Condensation, Mould and Mildew
Is it possible to have condensation with Dincel-wall?
No, provided that the moist air is prevented from getting in contact with cold surfaces.
A comprehensive answer to this question is also given in (FAQ, Answer No: 11 – Breathable Wall) and download – Indoor Air Quality, Condensation, Mould and Mildew.
As explained in the above documents, it is important to understand the source of moisture which must be in present for condensation to occur:
- Dincel prevents any moisture from the exterior environment or moisture available within the wet concrete mix entering into the interior face of Dincel (i.e. Dincel is waterproof and has an extremely low vapour transmission rate). This source of moisture is unavoidable with all conventional wall materials due to their porous nature, cracks, joints, etc.
- The second source of moisture comes from the building’s use (bathroom, laundry, kitchen and the building occupants breathing) in which the majority of excess moisture can only be removed by mechanical ventilation (cross ventilation will not be used in cold winter conditions). It will not be possible to remove all moisture from the internal building’s use by mechanical ventilation at any given time. This is the reason why, especially the internal wall face should be protected by insulation in cold winter conditions to prevent moist air from getting in contact with the cold wall’s surface.
Provided that Item (ii) above is adopted the best possible solution in preventing condensation would be achieved.