In 1937 Rodolfo Squinzi sets up M.A.P.E.I.- Materiali Autarchici Per Edilizia e Industria (Autarchic Materials For Building and Industry) – in the Bovisa district of north Milan. Mapei starts producing paint as an alternative to a French product: its name is SILEXCOLOR, a silicate-based paint and the first building block of what would become such a great company. The war comes to an end and the rebuilding process begins, with Mapei always leading the way. Thanks to constant research work which, right from the very beginning, has always been part of the company’s DNA, ADESILEX adhesive is developed for bonding linoleum, which took the place of Italeum.
The “A” in M.A.P.E.I. changes its meaning: Autarchici (or Autarchic), with its connotations reflecting political policies at the time, becomes Ausiliari (Auxiliary) – a reference to the materials produced. PIANOLINA is created: a ready-to-use, magnesium gypsum-based skimming compound capable of lightening the load of installers. Sensing the enormous potential of ceramics, Mapei launches ADESILEX P, the first solvent-based tiling adhesive. Another successful product soon followed: ADESILEX PM.
Giorgio Squinzi contributes to the success of the company by inventing a series of innovative products that become an international success. ADESILEX L1 alcohol-based adhesive for linoleum is introduced, freeing installers from the burden of having to carry bags full of sand to the installation area. This is followed by ADESILEX P5, a bituminous solvent adhesive for tiled floors. And then by its successor, ADESILEX P7, an ultra-rapid-setting elastomeric adhesive, and ADESILEX P9, a super-adhesive for ceramic tiles which can still be used up to half a day after being mixed.
Mapei is also projected into the future with KERABOND, the first polymer-free cementitious adhesive made by Mapei. KERALASTIC makes it possible to bond ceramic tiles on various types of surface: from cementitious render to metal. SIGILLANTE 3433 silicone sealant – which we now call MAPESIL AC – is created for making elastic seals in ceramic surfaces. The Fiat 500 is a memorable feature of the 1971 edition of Saie, hanging upside-down from the ceiling and remaining calmly anchored in place thanks to ADESILEX P9.
Mapei sets up Mapei Inc. in Canada and Mapei Corp. in the Unites States. KERABOND + ISOLASTIC is the new system that allows ceramic tiles to be installed over plywood for the first time. Mapei works on alternative solutions for plasterboard walls and for installing wall coverings with adhesive. The introduction of single-fired ceramics eliminates the need for spacers on the back of tiles: they are smoother, making them more suitable for installing with adhesive. KERAQUICK is Mapei’s new, rapid-setting adhesive, which can even be used for overlaying existing tiles. Even floor tiles with large dimples and spacers can be installed with KERAFLOOR.
Innovation is in the air: Mapei launches a new screed concept with MAPECEM and GRANIRAPID and introduces ULTRACOLOR, the only grouting mortar in the world that does not produce efflorescence and guarantees a perfectly even final colour. ULTRAPLAN self-levelling mortar is introduced, along with new solutions for refurbishing and repairing concrete with MAPEGROUT and MAPEFER and for masonry with MAPE-ANTIQUE. Higher performance concrete with MAPEFLUID. Mapei launches its new ECO line. Mapei’s legendary professional cycling team is founded in 1993. AQUAFLEX is the first ready-to-use liquid membrane for waterproofing terraces and balconies, which is soon followed by the revolutionary MAPELASTIC.
Mapei Sport Service is founded in 1997 and, in 1998, the Mapei professional cycling team triumphs at the Paris-Roubaix. In 2006 Mapei is the sponsor and talisman of the Italian soccer team. ADESILEX P4, KERAFLEX MAXI and ELASTORAPID adhesives are created for installing ceramic and stone, along with MAPEQUICK for underground and underwater environments. MAPETHERM protects our homes from the cold and heat and helps cut down on energy consumption, while MAPEGRID and FRP consolidate the structures of old buildings. For cementitious and resin-based industrial floors, ULTRATOP and MAPEFLOOR mortars arrive on the scene.
New subsidiaries and a two-figure increase in turnover year after year for Mapei. Mapei continues its growth and the number of product lines also continues to grow; from 9 to 15 in 2008 alone. Caribbean Sand in Porto Rico, Polyglass, Betontechnik, Apac, Mapintec and Henkel Technologies Korea all become part of the Mapei Group. New production equipment is commissioned at the Mediglia works, including a dedicated packaging plant using new, ecological plastic bags. The UTT Laboratory for products dedicated to the underground sector is inaugurated, along with a Mobile Building Laboratory dedicated to admixtures.
18 told tales illustrated by Carlo Stanga about Mapei and the solutions provided towards the successful completion of some of the most significant projects in Italy and around the world over the last 80 years.