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Hong Kong Pigments for Sandy Look of Belgian Pier

OSTEND/BELGIUM, May 07, 2015 - Hong Kong based Cathay Industries, which consider itself to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of synthetic iron oxide pigments, have aided the Belgian Ostend authorities to achieve the exact colour of beach sand in construction of two new piers at the part.

Built by the Flemish Governmental Maritime Access Division between 2010 and 2014, the newly built piers replace the older wooden ones. The new piers have improved the accessibility of the port and protect the city centre against flood risks. The piers have developed into a tourist attraction and serve as a promenade into the sea.

Pier in Ostend, Belgium

A Major Tourist Attraction- Newly Built Piers at Ostend in Belgium. | photo: Cathay Industries

Four years of work

The foundation of the new piers, which reach out 750 m each into the North Sea, was established between 2010 and 2012. The completion works started in 2013 and were finished in 2014.  They are equipped with 550 precast concrete crest elements made by Lithobeton, which serve as hand rail and protective wall for the users. The walkway is made of ready mix concrete from Inter-Beton Ostend, a Heidelberg Cement Group company. The path holds about 5.300 m3 of coloured concrete in the top layer.

Sand or Concrete?

Cathay Industries Pigments Matches the
Colour of Beach Sand | photo: Cathay Industries

How does one make concrete look “sandy”?

However, the major challenge of producing a material that matches the colour of sand at Ostend’s beach was met by synthetic inorganic iron oxides supplied by Cathay Industries. After rigorous testing and trials, Cathay’s specific blends of pigments from its Ferrotint series were selected. These pigments are characterised by colour consistency, lightfastness, alkali, acids resistance and stability in salty sea environments.

Technical experts from Cathay Industries supported the planning as well as the colouring process to ensure smooth operations. Hugely satisfied from the exercise, Hadewych Verhaeghe, Managing Civil Servant at Maritime Access Division says “The colour of the concrete is exactly what we had in mind – we are very pleased with the result.”

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Crest Elements at Ostend Pier

Crest Elements Serves as Handrail and Protective Wall. | photo: Cathay Industries