Let’s start our story with glass fabrics that form the basis for the production of build-up roofing and damp proofing materials.
At the beginning of the 90-s the production association from Polotsk named “Steklovolokno”, as well as other numerous enterprises after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, had to find a market outlet on its own. A state order system was not of use anymore and it was necessary to work industriously on sales development. At those times our enterprise was specialized mainly in electrical insulation glass fabrics. The decrease in market demand for electrical insulation fabrics and drastic fall of sales fostered the search of alternative fields of application for these fabrics. Bases for roofing materials were chosen as one of the directions.
At first non backing glass fabrics were manufactured for further using both in production of build up roofing materials and in installation and repairing of lutaceous roofing. It was revealed during communication with the roofing fabricants that there was a market demand for products with better quality properties. There was a need for material capable of replacing carbon that used to be widely applied at those times for production of rolled bitumen materials.
The key moment happened while meeting the managers of the company “TechnoNICOL” that were entering the market of roofing materials. Requirements for glass fabrics used in production of damp proofing materials were worked out as a result of cooperative discussions. The production association from Polotsk “Steklovolokno” started to manufacture experimental rolls. The main difference in the new product lied in the usage of texturized roving in wefts and application of other impregnations that let the fabrics have backing properties and made them much more adhesive to the bitumen bind. Tests of experimental rolls were held at factories belonging to the group of companies “TechnoNICOL”. The changes in the quality of the produced damp proofing materials were positive. So, our factory got a new product, TCPT glass fabric that was later renamed RATL. Further there were made some corrections in the characteristics of RATL backing fabrics in accordance with the demands of the customers: roll length was enlarged, the packaging was redesigned. Seeing the success of our enterprise in getting access to the market of a new kind of roofing basis, our Russian competitors started to make their analogues. The rivalry was strengthened and there burst the crisis of the year 1998. Price reduction with the preservation of the main characteristics was an obligatory condition of staying in the market. The work resulted in invention and implementation of texturized roving on weaving loom. JSC “Polotsk-Steklovolokno” got the patent №5414 “Means of texturized fabric production” for this technology.
All these years JSC “Polotsk-Steklovolokno” has been doing its best in following the wishes of the producers of damp roofing materials regarding the roofing basis that are consumed by them. As a result of close contact between JSC “Polotsk-Steklovlokno” and a group of companies “TechnoNICOL” specialists light built variants of backing fabrics were designed (RATL-120, RATL-80, and RATL-65) alongside with special products such as fabrics with moisture-repellent impregnation and fabrics with sheared edge.