As we've mentioned on the Tech Tips blog before, ISO is the international standards setting organization that covers, among many other things, tile and installation products. This year's annual meeting was held in Guangzhou, China, a city of more than 13 million people located near Hong Kong and Foshan, the tile capital of China. By hosting the meeting, China reaffirmed that they are an active and interested participant in the standards development process.
MAPEI is also an active and involved participant in standards groups for tile. Our own Jim Whitfield is the President of MMSA (Materials Methods and Standards Association) and works closely with Aiping Lu and Ken Tarantul from R&D in developing test methods for installation products, Ken and I have a vote on the ANSI A108 committee which sets standards for tile and installation products in the US. We represent membrane manufacturers on TCNA's Handbook Committee. Specific to ISO, MAPEI has chaired Working Group 3 (WG3) of TC189 for many years which is the group that works on installation products standards.
This year, we are finalizing a standard for sheet waterproofing membranes and starting a new standard for sound control membranes. The group also approved changing the convener from me to Ralf Carvajal, our Director of R&D here in the US. WG12 is actively developing a standard for uncoupling membranes and is starting to develop some interesting tests to help define what, exactly, they are. WG7 is developing standards for determining sustainability of installation products. MAPEI is an active participant in all of these areas to develop standards that really differentiate the good from the not-so-good.
It wasn't all work, our hosts also took us to Canton Tower for dinner on Tuesday night where we enjoyed 360 degree views of the city and a traditional meal. Before hopping on our 20+ hour flight back to Miami, Ralf and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Winnia Zhou, the Technical Manager for MAPEI China. She drove us to the MAPEI factory north of Guangzhou where we were able to meet with several of our colleagues and see their facilities. Although they are currently small, it is obvious that the China group is dedicated and poised for growth.
In all, our trip to China was a great success and Ralf and I returned with memories that will last a lifetime.