This week, it's out with the cold and in with the tactile – put the touch of Italy into your bathroom with these textured tiles. Plus, sleek fittings for glass doors and the latest news from manufacturers
Reinforcing concrete
Halfen has launched a reinforcement bar coupling system called HBM. The company says it enables fast connections to be made in reinforcement of both precast and insitu concrete. The system consists of off-the-shelf socket bars comprising standard grade rebar with a socket on the end. These connect to connector bars, which have a hot-forged threaded end that screws into the socket. The products are available in diameters ranging from 12 mm to 32 mm, and in lengths up to 6 m. The range includes straight or bent double-ended socket bars, double-ended connector bars and combinations of both to order.
Halfen 302

Superstrong cement
Rugby Cement has brought out a new cement called Rugby Extra. It is made from Portland cement and fly ash to produce what the company claims is a concrete with increased durability and good long-term strength development. The company also says other advantages include enhanced sulphate resistance, better surface finish and improved wet concrete and mortar properties.
Rugby Cement 303

Droplet separator system
Humidification control specialist Munters has introduced a modular droplet separator for removing condensate from behind the cooling coils, air washers and spray humidifiers in air handling units. The use of droplet separators is said to reduce corrosion in air-conditioning systems and therefore reduce maintenance. The range, called DFM consists of three sizes, the 2100, 2500 and 4200. The product is available off-the-shelf or tailor-made for non-standard sized air ducts, and are supplied either with ready-assembled frames to drop into prepared trays or ducts, or as self-assembly kits for site assembly.
Munters 304

PVCu paint
Paint specialist Avko has launched a product called Avkote KS for repainting and protecting items made from PVCu. The paint is suitable for internal and external applications, including windows, doors, conservatories, cladding, soffits and fences. The company says only one coat of the single-pack, water-based paint is needed to cover a PVCu surface and it is touch dry in 20 minutes. A range of colours is available.
Avko 305

Shatterproof fluorescent tubes
The Greenstock Lamp Company has extended its range of shatterproof fluorescent tubes to include a new type of plastic shatterproof coating. The company says it can be used with a tube that has a 20,000-hour life, double that of its existing shatterproof coated fluorescent tube. Both tube types comply with food safety regulations that demand shatterproof tubes in food production areas to avoid food being contaminated by broken glass.
Greenstock Lamp Company 306

Hollow structural steel sections
Corus Tubes has expanded its Jumbo range of steel structural hollow sections with the introduction of hot-finished rectangular and circular hollow sections. The rectangular sections range in size up to 750 mm by 500 mm, and the circular sections up to 711 mm diameter. Both sections are available in thicknesses up to 40 mm. The new sections join the existing Jumbo square section product offer.
Corus Tubes 309

Mains-powered halogen lamp
GE Lighting has introduced a lamp called the Halogen G9 Capsule Tech. It is available in 25 W, 60 W and 75 W versions and runs on mains voltage to make installation easier. The company says it features UV filtering glass so does not need additional filters, has a life of up to 2000 hours and provides a consistent light output through its life.
GE Lighting 310

Designer Italian tiles
Tile supplier Domus has introduced three tile ranges from Italian designer Brix. The first range, One, consists of "geometric mosaics and crumpled paper" textural patterns in natural tones, and plain tiles with bold strokes of colour. The second range, Nil, features "smooth and skin-like textures" in brick, slab and block shaped tiles. Finally, the Wave range features elongated rectangular tiles available in a choice of widths.
Domus 301

Stainless steel double sink
Sink manufacturer Reginox has introduced its RL211S stainless steel double sink and drainer into its Regilux range. The unit consists of two equal-sized sinks arranged so the unit can be fitted into a corner cabinet. The single drainer sits between the two sinks so it is tucked into the corner. It is supplied complete with overflow and strainer waste.
Reginox 307

Glass door fittings
Dorma UK has extended its range of Arcos glass door hardware with the launch of a pull handle and an internal door hinge suitable for a range of rebate depths. The handle is arc shaped and is available in two lengths, 401 mm and 828 mm, in either aluminium or stainless steel.
Dorma UK 308

Movers and makers

  • Several plumbing products manufacturers have come together to form the Polybutene Piping Systems Association. Members include Hepworth Building Products, Polypipe Building Products and Wavin Plastics. The association says polybutene will be the material of choice for heating and plumbing in the future because it combines flexibility with excellent creep and burst resistance, which ensure ease of installation and a long life.

  • Riello International Group Spa has purchased a majority interest in AiAX, which distributes its Aermec air-conditioning range of products in the UK. Riello says the move is designed to strengthen its presence in the UK market, as it can now bid for bigger projects.

  • United Utilites, an organisation that finds ecologically friendly uses for waste has found one for the sludge that is a byproduct of drinking water treatment. The sludge is being used as a replacement for clay in brick making. The bricks contain 5% of the sludge which is said to be high in mineral content. The sludge is also being used to manufacture cement by Glacier ARM.

  • Services commissioning provider Commtech has been acquired by IMI, who supply products for controlling indoor environments. IMI says the acquisition means it is able to expand the commissioning and service capability of its Indoor Climate business.

  • Construction research organisation CIRIA has been awarded £1,774,000 in the DTI’s Partners in Innovation competition, some 25% of the total sum allotted through PII. The money will fund projects including guidance on sustainable urban drainage systems, recycling and tower crane stability.

  • Grundfos Pumps has formed a strategic alliance with heating products company Rycroft to produce the first variable plate heat exchanger on the UK market. Plate heat exchangers are used to heat water for small hotels, office and apartments and medical and leisure centres. Grundfos, whose Magna pumps are used on the product, say tests have shown that a variable speed exchanger uses nine times less electricity than a fixed-speed version.