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TASSULLO: PROVIDER OF NATURAL, ECOLOGICAL BINDING MATERIALS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
With a century of history behind it, the Tassullo Company founded in 1909 in the Trentino region produces and sells building materials. However, this company stands out from the rest because it is the only Italian manufacturer of natural hydraulic lime, produced in two types, “NHL5” and “NHL3.5”. This is an unusual product which comes with a complete product range comprising all types of building cement. In fact the four Tassullo plants, employing about 250 workers, produce hundreds of tons of material every day. Products made by Tassullo are sold in many foreign countries, including France, the Benelux states, the United Kingdom, Austria and Rumania.
Although the company's product range is varied and well-integrated, natural, hydraulic lime is the top seller for this Italian manufacturer. Tassullo's technicians explained the reasons for this: “Plaster finish with a cement base absorbs water very slowly when wetted. At the same time, however, it takes much longer to dry out. Plaster finish made from natural hydraulic lime, on the other hand, absorbs water quickly but dries out relatively fast”. Natural hydraulic lime is more porous: a characteristic which makes it the ideal material for mortaring and plaster, increasing the level of comfort within buildings and making for a healthier environment.
Natural hydraulic lime is perfectly suited to ecological building methods and restoration work but is also suitable for civil construction. Tasssullo, however, saw to include this ecological product line within its broad offer. Products in the “Bio-E Calcebenessere” range are manufactured with great attention to the additives incorporated into the mixture, all of which are natural in origin. The Bio-E line of natural hydraulic lime stems from the best qualities of Tassullo’s “NHL5” and is prized, for example, for its fineness and colour. Every single ingredient of the ecological cement is guaranteed to be ecologically sourced, thanks to the appropriate certification. The company stresses the point that Tassullo also holds certification regarding very low levels of radioactivity.
Natural hydraulic lime is produced by simply grinding up clay calcium carbonate, which is then baked at 1000-1200° and finally “slaked” by adding water, avoiding the addition of any other materials. The raw material is extremely important because it is unique, in that it comes from a local source. The plaster and mortaring compounds are formed of two or three components: the binding material (natural hydraulic lime), an inert material (sand) and some additives. The company technicians stated: “The care taken in making this product can be seen also in our choice of an extremely high quality inert substance like dolomite, which is extracted from underground quarries, without producing an environmental impact on our wonderful Dolomite Mountains”.
Natural hydraulic lime hardens in the presence of water. Compared to other hydraulic binders like cement, it stands out for its exceptional resistance. It therefore has the advantage of a guaranteed longer life-span, because it does not react with the salts present in the mixture. A type of hydraulic lime similar to that produced by Tassullo was used in historical Roman times. When required they would lower the mortar down into the water: for example to construct jetties or the submerged foundations of bridges. “Our natural hydraulic lime”, the company representatives explained, “is the descendant of the mortar used by the Romans two thousand years ago, but obviously improved thanks to technological developments over the last twenty centuries. But the principal is the same”. For this reason, natural hydraulic lime is indisputably the ideal material for conservation work, because it is wholly analogous to all the binders used in the pre-industrial age. It is not by chance that an important part of the company's work concerns the restoration and conservation of historical buildings.
Natural hydraulic lime is therefore a versatile product with numerous applications. As a consequence the business relationships set up by the company vary according to the destined use of the material. For products used in restoration work, for example, Tassullo has dealings with public bodies, the Superintendancy of Fine Arts and professional people such as architects, planners and users, all called in to evaluate the quality of the products employed in restoring the cultural heritage. In civil building projects the business relationships are partly similar, in that they involve designers and architects. However, there are also other players in the game such as construction companies and sales points which distribute Tassullo binders and ready-to-use products. In this case the relationships are obviously mainly B2B.
The commercial network is made up of specialized agents who can strike up efficient dealings with the businesses or sales outlets and promote Tassullo products in a positive way. The dealings with public bodies, on the other hand, are through properly qualified technical agents, as in these discussions the emphasis is on technical and scientific matters.