PDA Europe looks back at 6 years of promoting the polyurea industry

The Polyurea Development Association Europe (PDA Europe) was founded in 2007 and registered as an official, international not-for-profit association under the Belgian law. Its mission is to promote market awareness, understanding and acceptance of polyurea technology through the development of education programmes, product standards, safety and environmental and use recommendations. The membership of PDA Europe has a vertical structure including raw material suppliers, machine builders, distributors, formulators, applicators, project owners, consultants and independent sales representatives. Specifiers, architects and engineers are motivated to join the organization and share their views and needs in relation to polyurea technology and performance. Since 2012 PDA Europe has more than 100 member companies.

The association provides technology training courses, spray application courses and access to several useful tools like EHS guidance. Guidelines and specifications written for the use of polyurea and shared info on case studies are also available. Practical organization of these activities, are handled by four committees. Most of the work is done by member volunteers and every PDA Europe member is invited to contribute in one or more of the committees.

The Membership Development Committee is responsible for bringing new members to the association and making sure that the current members are able to benefit from all the advantages PDA Europe offers them. The Industry Relations Committee develops and implements strategies and programmes for advancing the awareness and acceptance of the association and polyurea technology. For this purpose, target industries and application areas are identified and contacts with key people are established.

PDA Europe and Deutsche Bauchemie e. V. (German Association of Construction Chemicals Manufacturers) set up a working group called “Polyurea in der Bauwirtschaft” which analyzed the situation and worked out recommendations for how polyurea can be used or certified under existing regulations. The working group’s report is now available in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian. The workgroup also takes initiatives to get polyurea incorporated into new and upcoming regulations.

A key objective of the Education Committee of PDA Europe is to provide educational and professional opportunities to companies involved with polyurea technology. Introduction to the technology, applicator training including spray courses, surface preparation courses are seen as a first priority. The Education Committee is also following the increasing amount of harmonized European Standards concerning concrete repair, protection methods and coatings. So far 8 spray courses were organized in The Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the UK and more than 100 participants were trained in best practice when handling polyurea products.
The PDA Europe Programme Committee’s task is to organize the annual event and special meetings. The first conference under the title “Developing the polyurea market together” was held in Brussels in 2007 and was attended by 150 individuals from Europe, the Middle-East and North-America. The conference agenda included presentations, educational courses and live spray demonstrations, highlighting the benefits of specifying polyurea systems for a range of applications.
In 2008 the second conference “Taking polyurea to the next level” was organized in Vienna where a visit to some real jobs at the Vienna Zoo was scheduled. 120 attendees from Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia were present.

In 2009, “Displaying the Phantastic world of polyurea” was held at Phantasialand in Brühl near Cologne. New for that year were the extended concrete surface preparation course combined with practical demos and the visit to the new attraction built at Phantasialand using polyurea.

In 2010, the conference moved to the south, to Sitges in Spain. For the first time a parallel session in the Spanish language was organized.

The Hague in The Netherlands was chosen for the 2011 conference and in 2012 a very successful conference was held in Istanbul, Turkey. Again a parallel session was organized in Turkish.

The 2013 Conference will take place from 18. to 20. November in Italy.