Since its inception, and even through the years when the institute was in significant decline, the IAST has offered commercial analytical services, particularly related to environmental contaminants, quality control for water, beverages and foods, and to a certain extent, microbial testing. The equipment base has now been significantly renewed. The goal for Analytical Services is for the institute to offer centralized, comprehensive commercial access to accredited analytical services in Guyana. Through the provision of analytical services, the IAST aims to generate additional income for R&D investment, as well as maintain a complement of state of the art equipment which can also be utilized for research and development. The analytical department is headed by Mr. Randy Fordyce, BSc. Click here to view services provided by the Analytical Department.
The broad view of materials taken by the Institute encompasses housing, road, and fine chemicals. The indigenous materials department is focused on the development of durable, functional materials from cheap, renewable sources, waste recycled materials, waste biomass and clays. We work significantly with composites made of recycled plastics and agricultural and wood fibres, as well as with recycled rubber from used tires amalgamated with asphalt.
The majority of Guyana’s population reside on the narrow, fertile coastal plains of the country, where the alluvial marine soil is fertile and home to the major agricultural industries. Construction materials for roads, housing and infrastructural works are sourced through imports and from the country’s quarries in the hilly sand and clay regions, remote from the coast. This results in construction materials being relatively expensive.
Guyana has some 8,000 miles of farm to market access roads on the coast that are little more than compacted clay. During the periodic rainy seasons, many of these access roads become impassable. Significant expense is incurred by the Government of Guyana to constantly maintain these poor roads, which are a barrier to market access for agricultural produce, and a source of discomfort to residents in the rural coastal villages. The IAST’s Indigenous Materials Department is engaged in research and technology transfer that is targeted at the use of coastal clays for the production of road-building materials, materials for home construction, and cementitious materials (puzzolanic materials). Click for images and projects.
Extrusion and injection moulding as platform technologies have been embraced by the institute to produce a variety of products made from wood/rice/bagasse and plastic composites. These materials are all targeted currently at the home construction industry, and in particular, roofing shingles have been developed and are ready to be commercialized. Click for images and projects.