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New app to improve the sustainability of concrete wins Tarmac Innovation Challenge

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

A digital analysis tool that can help to improve the sustainability of concrete has been named the winner of Tarmac’s 2023 Innovation Challenge – an annual competition encouraging supply chain companies, SMEs and other organisations to submit ideas for sustainable solutions.

New app to improve the sustainability of concrete wins Tarmac Innovation Challenge

The most recent challenge focused on new technologies and solutions to support a circular economy – keeping materials in use and reducing waste – with Tarmac committed to bringing the winning entry to life.

Submitted by Saint-Gobain Construction Chemicals, the winning initiative CHRYSO Quad Lab is an innovative new tool that suggests the most suitable admixture solution for concrete mixes based on the sands it contains. Admixtures are substances added to optimise a concrete mix, for example to reduce the amount of water and cement needed, improve workability or to speed up the setting time.

The Quad Lab tool, creates a detailed report about the sand’s characteristics, including fines and swelling clay content, to identify and recommend the most suitable admixture solution.

This detailed analysis enables more sustainable sands to be used in concrete mix designs as the designated admixtures maintain or improve strength without requiring an increased amount of cement or water. Reducing the amount of cement used therefore lowers the embodied carbon of a concrete mix, boosting sustainability and providing users with cost savings.

Mark Lewis, procurement manager – CAPEX and sustainability at Tarmac, said: “Circularity within the materials industry is crucial to reaching net zero and reducing our impact on the environment. To achieve our sustainability ambitions, we know that collaborating with our suppliers is key to developing innovative new ideas and solutions.

“CHRYSO Quad Lab brings a fantastic opportunity to use more sustainable sands in concrete mixes, and reduce the volume of cement required for strong, resilient concrete.

“Congratulations to the CHRYSO team for bringing this versatile and impactful tool to market. We are excited to take this initiative forward.”

The Quad Lab technology forms part of the CHRYSO range, which includes the patented Clear test method to analyse sands and the Quad app and software through which technicians carry out precise diagnosis and technical support.

Gerry Attree, National Key Account Manager at Saint-Gobain added: “CHRYSO Quad Lab, along with our advanced range of Quad admixtures, expands the types of sands useable in concrete production. This includes challenging locally sourced sands and recycled construction materials, which might otherwise have been considered unsuitable.

“By doing so, along with our business partner Tarmac, we are working towards providing sustainable construction material solutions, and reducing the carbon emissions from long-distance sand transportation, but also supporting the circular economy through the reuse of construction waste.”

Now in its fourth year, previous winners of Tarmac’s Innovation Challenge include the UK’s first all-electric concrete mixer, which is in operation in Birmingham.

(Image provided by Saint-Gobain.)

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