A convergence of routine market and rare natural forces could compel concrete producers using Vinsol resin-based admixtures to convert their mix designs to ones bearing alternative products meeting ASTM C260, Standard Specification for Air-Entraining Admixtures for Concrete requirements. Through much of 2018, producers will likely confront tight supplies of Vinsol-type air-entraining admixtures as the resin’s sole supplier addresses capacity and inventory challenges.
|Pinova derives Vinsol from longleaf or slash pine tree stumps, shipping the resin in flake form for air-entraining admixture production.|
Brunwick, Ga.-based Pinova Inc. has placed Vinsol customers on allocation through at least the middle of next year, citing this year’s high seasonal demand for the resin and the loss of 15-30 days’ production at its coastal Georgia operation. The latter stemmed from a mandatory evacuation of Glynn County ahead of Hurricane Irma, which swept through Florida and Georgia the weekend of September 9.
In a letter to customers, Pinova declared Force Majeure, a common contract clause acknowledging potential supply disruptions in the face of a “superior force” or “act of God.” Shutdown of the Brunswick headquarters plant, where Pinova extracts a range of resins and rosins from pine tree stumps, coincided with depleted inventories driving Vinsol delivery lead times into months versus weeks.
Vice President of Global Sales Isaac Moussan notes that Pinova began upgrading the Brunswick facility earlier this year to increase processing capacity, but had not been able to build Vinsol stock by Irma’s arrival. Capacity improvements supported by French parent company DRT will continue, he adds, although customers have been informed that the plant will likely need all of 2018 to balance supply with demand and meet targeted one- to two-week delivery leads. Upon its 2016 acquisition of Pinova, DRT became the fourth owner of the Vinsol brand during the past decade.