Novgorod was an extremely successful conference

The 7th International Gypsum Conference, organised by the Russian Gypsum Association, was held in Nizhnii Novgorod/Russia from 10.-12.09.2014. The team of organisers, headed by Yuri Goncharov (Chairman of the Gypsum Association) and Prof. Dr. Alexandr Buryanov (Acting Director of the Gypsum Association and, simultaneously, conference secretary) succeeded in attracting practically all Russian producers of calcium sulphate binders and gypsum-based building materials to the conference. Not only the major companies, but also specialists from smaller enterprises, were thus in attendance. In all, a total of around 260 participants from seventeen countries took this excellent opportunity of making new and broadening existing contacts.

The unusually large response to the conference was also reflected in a broad lecture program. The conference proceedings contain printed versions of 45 papers, kept entirely in Russian.

The guests at the conference were welcomed by Yuri Goncharov, by Janis Kraulis, representing the principal sponsor, Knauf, and by Vladimir Chelomin, representative of the Nizhnii Novgorod regional construction ministry.

Renowned scientists from a number of universities had been co-opted for the plenary address sessions. Prof. Grigory Yakovliev (University of I­zhevsk) firstly reported on changes in crystal morphology caused by ultra and nano-dispersed modifiers in the hydration of gypsum-cement-pozzolana binders. Dr. Victoria Petropavlovskaya (University of Twer) then spoke on gypsum composite binders and methods of enhancing their strength. The focus of the address by Prof. Michail Garkavi (M­agnitogorsk) was on the prospects for using centrifugal comminution in the gypsum industry. Dr. Hans-Bertram Fischer (Bauhaus University of Weimar) examined potentials and problems concerned with the re-crystallisation of gypsum.

The essential focuses of the remaining technical addresses were as follows:

» The functional mechanism of additives in the hydration process

Modified gypsum binders and calcium-sulphate-containing binder systems

The use of byproducts in the production of calcium-sulphate building materials

Plant engineering for the gypsum industry

Papers given by the manufacturers of mechanical equipment provided another focal topic. Both new and modified technologies were showcased to the large audience, the majority of these companies being represented by their Russian subsidiaries. An equipment exhibition by Knauf PFT attracted particular interest.

The Claudius Peters company reported on the equipping of a new gypsum plant in Bulgaria, while the Beumer Group’s paper focussed on efficient handling and packing systems. The address by the RUD Group outlined the potentials of chain-based handling equipment. Gebr. Pfeiffer AG took as its central topic that of vertical roller mills. ­Erisim Makina Ltd., AlphaPlatre and RBL REI, among ­others, all discussed special technological features.

The large number of those wishing to speak meant that the times for questions had to be drastically restricted. This, however, did not impair good interchange of opinions, since there was adequate time for discussion during the breaks, at the reception, and in the course of the specialist excursion.

The supporting program held on the 2nd day of the conference was also extremely well patronised. Participants had the choice of two technically orientated excursions: to OOO “Knauf Gips ­Dzerzhinsk” and to the gypsum plant at Peshelansk. A boat trip on the Volga, which followed a short tour of the city including a visit to Nizhnii Novgorod’s “kremlin”, or ancient fortress, was then used for concluding discussions.

All in all, it can be noted that the scientific papers were indicative of greater interest by Russian universities in gypsum as a building material. Euro­pean plant and additive/admixture makers also had the desired opportunity of publicising themselves to the Russian market. The organisers and Prof. Dr. Buryanov, in particular, deserve great credit and the special thanks of the conference participants for this extremely successful conference. Nizhnii Novgorod was, in every sense, worth the trip!

For information on the Russian Gypsum ­Association, visit: //" target="_blank" >


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